Programme Director, MEC Gade

Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Blade Nzimande

Executive Mayor of Chris Hani District Municipality

Chairperson of the SGB

HOD for the Department of Education

Representatives from the National Department of Basic Education

Partners and Education Stakeholders

School Principal and teaching staff

Learners

 

Good afternoon.

 

I stand to welcome all dignitaries to our Province who are here to witness the handover of the state-of-the-art education facility to the community of Chris Hani District. The district that is hosting us is named after the son of Cofimvaba, our struggle hero comrade Chris Hani. It is also the district that birthed uTata uViyisile Mini and more importantly uMama u Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu whose name is now etched at this Institution. These luminaries of our country that I have just mentioned are well known for their outstanding roles in the struggle for freedom. That struggle was premised on the ideals of creating an equal society where blacks and whites can enjoy equal opportunities.

 

Siyazi sonke ukuba urhulumente wengcinezelo wayengaphesheya kumathuba alinganayo kubantu abamnyama nabamhlophe. Lonto wayiqinisekisa ngokuthi enze imfundo ezahlukeneyo yabamnyama neyabamhlophe. The education for black people was inferior in quality and was inadequately funded. Yiyo lonto kwindawo ezifana nalapha eChris Hani izikolo zakhiwa ngabazali, hayi ngu rhulumente wobandlululo. Yiyo lonto ixalenye yezikolo ingenazo izixhobo zokufunda ezingqamene nobuchwephesha balemihla. Kodwa kunzima kunjalo, abantwana abafunda ezilalini bathe gqolo bephumelela izifundo zabo emagqabini bebetha nabo bafunda kwizikolo eziseziDolophini.

 

Singurhulumente we ANC sikwiphulo lokulinganisa ukuhanjiswa kwezemfundo efanayo kubantwana bonke baseMzantsi Afrika. Enye yendlela esenza oko ngayo kukhwakha izikolo ezisemgagathweni ophezulu, sifake nezixhobo zokufundisa ezinobuxhaka-xhaka balemihla ezifana ne Science Labs ne Computer Labs. Namhlanje sizisa isakhiwo esinobuxhaka-xhaka balemihla apha e Chris Hani esizoxhamla abafundi no Tishala bezikolo zalapha.

 

Injongo kukwakha inzululwazi zangomso, injineli zangomso, nosochwephesha kwizifundo zobuxhaka-xhaka be computer ne technology. Uqala namhlanje ubheka phambili, abantwana balapha bazoxhotyiswa ngezakhono nolwazi oluzokuguqula ubomi babo, lubanike namathuba amahle okubanobomi obungcono.

 

 

Our greatest concern as the Eastern Cape Provincial Government is unemployment and youth unemployment in particular.  Artisan skills, science skills and ICT skills have been sighted in numerous reports as scarce skills in our province and country. The economy needs these skills and the jobs of the future need learners who are equipped with the skills I just mentioned.

 

Last year the World Economic Forum issued the Future of Jobs Report, and it outlined the outlook for jobs and skills for the world economy. The report highlights that:

 

  • The pace of technology adoption is expected to remain unabated and may accelerate in some areas. That is adoption of cloud computing, big data, and e-commerce.
  • Automation is on the rise and has both negative and positive consequences for humans in terms of job security. Many businesses are reducing workforces due to technology.
  • It also says the top skills and skill groups which employers see as rising in prominence in the lead up to 2025 include groups such as critical thinking and analysis as well as problem-solving, and skills in self-management such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility.
  • The report reveals that eighty-four percent of employers are set to rapidly digitalize working processes, including a significant expansion of remote work.

It then warns us that if we don’t act proactively as governments to mitigate against the force of 4IR and a changing work environment, inequality will grow, and more people will be left unemployed. The report recommends that businesses must reskill and upskills workers. But it also calls on governments to provide support for reskilling and upskilling for citizens.

 

The sector where we can make the greatest impact as government is the education sector where the future of the country is prepared. 

 

This R50 million investment here in the rural hinterland of Chris Hani District is a game changer for the children of this district. It broadens their horizons; it opens doors of possibilities for them.  We don’t want this school to be an island that is visited by a few learners. It must be a community centre for human development. Umntu ethiywe ngaye, uMama uAlbertina Sisulu was a humble, selfless servant of our people. The management of this centre must resemble her values at all material times.  This centre aligns perfectly with our 2030 vision of the Provincial Growth and Development Plan which envisages:

 

  • A proliferation of innovation and industry, and citizens who can feed themselves
  • All children and youth manifesting a shared belief that they are the cornerstone of the future
  • Participatory local development action driven by committed, capable citizens and conscientious institutional agents, and
  • At the core of this Science Centre is a concept of innovation, exhibition, research and

 

This centre is also a fruitful illustration of the District Development Model in practice, in that planning and spending across the three spheres of government were integrated and aligned and more importantly input of communities was considered upfront.

 

Ndichwayite nangakumbi xa sinekezela esi sikolo ngenyanga ekwazalwa ngayo uTata u Oliver Tambo, kuba wayengumfundi ophume izandla kwizifundo zenzululwazi. Zanga aphele apho, wayekwangumhloli ogqamileyo wezifundo zenzululwazi nezibalo. We hope the teachers and learners who will come through the gates of this centre will be inspired by Mama Albertina Sisulu who was an avid science student.

 

With those few words I welcome all of you to this historic event that will create a better life for the children of Chris Hani District.

 

Thank you.