Sanral has donated R30m sponsors for maths, science students

The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) has donated R30 million to higher education in mathematics, science and technology studies.

Sanral and the University of the Free State (UFS) have jointly launched a new chair in science, mathematics and technology education.

The R30-million donation is expected to last for five years, and is set to improve the quality of teaching in these subjects at township and rural schools.

The donation forms part of the university’s School Change Project (SCP), a flagship initiative launched by the vice-chancellor, Prof Jonathan Jansen.

Sanral Chief Executive Nazir Alli said they have committed to helping more students to enrol in science-related studies and careers, and have sponsored several programmes at tertiary institutions.

“Education is one of the key priorities of the South African government and Sanral has for many years been offering scholarships and bursaries to high school learners and university students as a way of ploughing back into the community,” said Alli.

He said the success of government’s National Infrastructure Plan, which promises to create thousands of jobs and boost empowerment, will hinge on skills dependent on mathematics and science.

“Infrastructure is critical to strengthening key value chains across our economy [as it] advances service delivery, bolsters job creation and expedites economic transformation,” said Alli.

Alli said that a major component of the National Infrastructure Plan is the construction of new roads throughout the country, including an important corridor route through the Free State.

“It was an easy choice for Sanral, which is mandated by the government to build and maintain the nation’s roads and bridges, to partner with the University of the Free State because our economy has such a big need for students with a high ability in science and mathematics,” said Alli.

“By partnering with the University of Free State and establishing the chair in science, mathematics and technology education, Sanral will help to ensure that South African students can measure up to international standards in the mathematical world,” Alli said.

Sanral said it will also train 44 educators in mathematics and science at 22 schools.

Student teacher interns will assist educators and SCP mentors will monitor progress through weekly visits.

“The interns will receive financial support to pursue undergraduate studies in maths and science education, and in return, they will commit to teaching these subjects for a period of four years after the completion of their studies,” Sanral said. – SAnews.gov.za