PICS: KZN gets R252m state-of-the-art maths and science school
DURBAN - The KwaZulu-Natal province has taken a step further in the digital revolution with the official launch of a R252-million mathematics, science and technology school.
Named after the ANC and South African liberation Struggle stalwart, the Anton Lembede Mathematics, Sciences and Technology Academy is situated in La Mercy, on the north coast of KZN.
The school was built over the course of five years at a cost of R252 million and contains 20 classrooms that can accommodate up to 600 learners.
It has one specialist classroom, a library, three computer labs and three science labs.
Lessons at the academy range from computer applications, information technology and life skills to leadership, innovation and visual arts, and according to KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala, a robotics curriculum is going to be added as well.
Intake for the 2021 academic year at the School of Innovation and Leadership will only include Grade 8 learners.
The remaining grades will be phased in, with matric learners expected to resume classes by 2025, according to the Department of Education’s prospectus.
Speaking at the official opening of the academy, Zikalala, who was joined by Minister of Public Service and Administration Senzo Mchunu and KZN MEC for Education Kwazi Mshengu, said the school was an important step for the province.
“We are sure that this school is an important building block in realising the vision of a KwaZulu-Natal that leads in science, technology, as well as the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“It is a school that will contribute in expanding the frontiers of freedom and development and contribute in positioning our province as the centre and science and innovation,” Zikalala said in a statement on Monday.
It will cost R42,400 (about US$3,000) per student to study at the Anton Lembede academy for 2021. The Department of Education will offer bursaries to deserving students who cannot afford the fees, explained Zikalala.
The annual fees at the school cover tuition costs, student accommodation, uniform, security, electricity and water.
Student accommodation at the school consists of 10 three-storey houses. Each room can take up to six students and includes personal workstations as well as internet connectivity.
The school also has a medical clinic.
Mshengu said on Monday that the bursaries will be awarded to those children who come from poor families in rural communities and cannot afford the quality of education that the Department of Education provides.
“A part of our drive to equalise education in the province, we are going to bring those learners on board so that they can be exposed to this kind of education that we are providing,” Mshengu said at the opening ceremony.
Mshengu said that the department didn’t want education to become a commodity enjoyed only by those who can afford it; rather, every child in the province should be given the same level of opportunities in education.