The Eastern Cape, birthplace of Nelson Mandela, is the poorest province in South Africa and continues to struggle economically, with a high unemployment rate, particularly in our youth. The country's economic development and growth is stifled by a severe shortage of skilled workers. This is largely blamed on the poor quality of teaching, particularly in Maths and Science. We want to strengthen these subjects from an early age through STEAM education.
Our students come from disadvantaged households with limited access to basic toys which lay the foundation for education, and as a result, children entering the formal school setting lack perceptual and critical thinking skills. Math and science are critical subjects with a provincial average pass rate in Grade 12 in 2016 of 37.5% in Math and 49.6% in Science, making the Eastern Cape the worst performing province in South Africa.
A STEAM curriculum supports students in an engaging and exciting way of teaching and learning, across Science, Technology, Engineering/English/Entrepreneurship, Arts and Maths. Occupations in STEAM related careers are some of the fastest growing and best paid of the 21st century, and they often have the greatest potential for job growth. We have started implementing STEAM across the grades, but require resources to reach the full potential of the STEAM philosophy.
Because our focus is on the STEAM subjects, our students will be better prepared for tertiary education in scarce and critical skills. All occupations deemed as being in high demand in South Africa require Math and Science. We educate 1,400 students from JK to Grade 12 and are therefore in an excellent position to make a difference to the economic climate of the rural Eastern Cape.
This project has provided additional documentation in a DOCX file (projdoc.docx).