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DST minister Naledi Pandor recently visited the University’s Zamakulungisa Site in Mthatha to engage the community about science, space and the importance of maths and science.

 

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JETTING OFF TO SPACE…IS THERE A FLIGHT-PLAN?

 

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I must commend the Department of Science and Technology (DST) for a job well done. The Space Science Outreach and Awareness programme held in the rural O.R Tambo lived up to the billing and delivered on its mandate – to create awareness and, peak youth interest in space science, more importantly, science in general.

 

The telescope building and rocket launches were a marvel, the exhibitions an eye opener, the lectures offered pertinent lessons, and the real-life satellite simulations presented a small glimpse into this relatively unknown world. These certainly left lasting impressions on many of the learners.

 

And if DST minister Naledi Pandor’s only real duty on the day was to join her government counterparts in encouraging youth to choose maths and science, she did a good job, with a lot of help from the day’s events.

 

A local councillor however would offer up some stark realities of a region whose development in many parts continues to be crippled by illiteracy. This is a major issue in a region that wants to reach for the stars, but can’t manage to create a suitable springboard.

 

For many this space science business is unchartered territory that needs clear and concise explanation. It’s a noble idea to encourage our children to reach for the stars, but, is there a flight-plan?

 

In order for this programme to work for the country, the country must first work for its people.

 

Thando Cezula

 

tcezula@wsu.ac.za

 

Click here to read the story. The minister’s speech is also available.

 

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