Pretoria - Youth in disadvantaged parts of Pretoria will be given access to facilities they would not ordinarily open to them – mobile science labs fully equipped to do small-scale production of prototypes and designs.
The labs will also provide young people with skills and knowledge to set up small companies, mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said.
City of Tshwane and the Innovation Hub have kick-started the distribution of the labs to expose and stimulate pupils’ interest in science and technology. Also, to give them an opportunity to enhance the scientific theory learnt with practical application.
Schools receiving labs this week are Wallmannsthal High, Sitjhejiwe Secondary, Rakgotso Secondary, Tipfuxeni Secondary, Bokgoni Technical High, Steve Tshwete Senior Secondary, Chipa Tabane High, Ribane-Laka High and Zithobeni Secondary.
They will each be given a R56 000 mobile lab. The city will also pilot the initiative at the Ga-Rankuwa Arts and Crafts Centre. The first lab was unveiled yesterday at the Innovation Hub in Lynnwood.
Small-scale production of prototypes and designs can be done at the workstation. The labs are also fitted with curricular apparatus, equipment and chemicals needed to conduct experiments.
Ramokgopa said the benefits of investment in the youth would facilitate better access to information, training opportunities, technical education and potential for job opportunities. “These opportunities will enable the youth to realise their full potential to actively participate in the economic drive.”
Ramokgopa said he hoped the labs would expose the youth from all walks of life to the field of innovation and technology and grow their interest and participation in the fields of science and mathematics.
MEC for Economic Development Lebogang Maile said a lot still needed to be done in the fields of information and communication technology, science, innovation and technology. “Youth development and empowerment do not only take place during Youth Month, but requires us to participate and bring opportunities to the youth every day,” he said. - Pretoria News