The LEAP 1 school in Langa in the Western Cape recently received a visit from BSG CEO, Jurie Schoeman, and an eager BSG team. As part of the day-long visit they hosted a range of practical and theoretical workshops and took the opportunity to hand over a R50,000.00 donation, empowering the school to purchase tablets for learners to use during classes.
The donation is part of BSG’s on-going commitment to LEAP, a relationship which BSG is very passionate about, and which has endured over the past 10 years. The Do-It-Days are one way BSG supports LEAP Science and Maths schools in Cape Town and Johannesburg, where BSGers give of their time and skills providing learners with various technique and life skills development opportunities. BSG also provides support to LEAP leadership through the participation on the LEAP board, and donating the use of BSG’s facilities.
BSG is committed to supporting education in South Africa, representing industry on several university advisory boards, guest lecturing at universities and up-skilling graduates through internships, graduate recruitment and development programmes. The long relationship with LEAP Science and Maths schools forms part of this commitment. “Over 10 years ago we shifted our focus from being involved in a number of different SED and corporate social responsibility initiatives to rather focus on the particular area of education, where we could make a greater difference. We decided, given our passion for STEM fields and education, that partnering with LEAP would be both impactful and relevant for us to do as an organisation.” Schoeman explains.
School Leader, Dorothy Tambara accepted the R50,000.00 donation on behalf of the school, emphasising the importance of ICTs in education. Information Communication Technology (ICT) has revolutionised education; providing unprecedented access to information and opportunities, the likes of which have never been encountered in our history before. Empowering LEAP learners with access to ICT devices, like tablets, will enhance both the teaching and learning experience at LEAP. Exposing the learners to a whole world of technologies and opportunities that they may not have had access to previously. ICTs are particularly important to prepare learners seeking to embark on tertiary education in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Schoeman presented the donation on behalf of BSG, commenting on the importance of mathematics and science education in bridging the STEM skills shortage in South Africa. “Through our involvement with university advisory boards and our graduate development initiatives we see the impact of not having enough students finishing matric with the maths and science qualifications that allow them to get into universities and do Computer Science and Information Systems qualification. This not only impacts companies like BSG, it also fundamentally impacts the productivity of South Africa (reference: WEF 2018)”
As part of the donation presentation Tambara motivated the LEAP 1 Langa learners by encouraging them to work hard so they pass with a bachelor’s tertiary entrance level, as the best way for them to show gratitude for the decade-long support BSG has given them and even more importantly so they can positively contribute to their country and act as powerful role models for other young people.