Rheinmetall Denel Munition sponsored over 900 bicycles to pupils of the Sonyongwana High School in KwaZulu-Natal.
As part of ongoing efforts to increase the quality of education with a particular focus on maths and science in high schools, Rheinmetall Denel Munition sponsored over 900 bicycles to pupils of the Sonyongwana High School in deep rural KwaZulu-Natal at the end of February. A majority of the school’s pupils walk distances, often up to 8km daily, to reach the school.
“Sponsoring a mode of transport ensures that every pupil of the school has the best possible opportunity to advance themselves and receive quality education,” says Rheinmetall Denel Munition CEO, Norbert Schulze. The personalised bicycles with safety gear, as well as bicycle training, is one of many initiatives adopted by the company over the last two years that assist and equip the pupils of this high school with means to continued access to quality education.
As a key imperative of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s 10-point action plan, he noted and highlighted at the recent State of the Nation Address, that a comprehensive agenda be established to address the improvement of quality education, especially in township and rural schools. The president further asserted that maths and science become compulsory up to grade 12 level in schools across the country.
Over the last two years, Rheinmetall Denel Munition has been working closely with the school’s principal and teachers, the minister of education, Angie Motshekga, as well as with chief education specialist, TT Magaqa, the head of the Education Department in KZN provincial office, as well as the director of Education in the Harry Gwala District, to improve pass rates.
In 2016, the company donated three fully equipped computer, chemistry and physical science laboratories. These laboratories boasted state-of-the-art chemistry and physical science apparatus with teaching aids, as well as 40 new computers. The school was also fitted with WiFi to facilitate an e-learning platform for teaching.
In 2017, the company’s academy interns devoted their time to host a Winter Week tutoring Sonyongwana matriculants in maths and science. This proved to be highly successful as the pass rate increased to 91%. Moreover, during the year, RDM initiated a water sanitation project that includes the upgrade of ablution facilities and installation of flush toilet systems and the establishment of a borehole to provide a sustainable source of drinking water.