New science school a ray of hope for Mvezo pupils

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - HENRIËTTE GELDEN­HUYS

ODWA Sobuza, a Grade 9 pupil from Nel­son Man­dela’s birth­place of Mvezo in the Eastern Cape, says he can’t wait for the year to end so he can en­rol in the Nel­son Man­dela School of Science and Tech­nol­ogy un­der con­struc­tion in the town.

Man­dela was born in Mvezo on July 18, 1918, and now, thanks to a R100 mil­lion school be­ing built there by Siemens, chil­dren in the ru­ral area have a shot at a top-notch ed­u­ca­tion.

Eastern Cape pre­mier Nox­olo Kiviet has de­scribed the school as “one of the best fa­cil­i­ties I have ever seen in the his­tory of this re­gion”.

It was built af­ter Man­dela met Siemens chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Peter Loescher in 2010, and asked him to build a sec­ondary school in Mvezo.

Work on the school is ex­pected to be com­pleted in Oc­to­ber, and it will open its doors next Jan­uary.

Sobuza is 18-years old, but still in Grade 9. He said he missed two years of school­ing at the Mvezo ju­nior school due to school boy­cotts dur­ing 2005 and 2006.

And al­though he dreams of be­com­ing an en­gi­neer or a doc- tor one day, he said this would be dif­fi­cult given his school has no li­brary or com­put­ers.

“I can’t wait for this year to end so I can join the new school. I hope I will be ac­cepted be­cause I’m do­ing well at school. I’m in the top five.”

Sobuza is in­ter­ested in study­ing elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer­ing be­cause if there’s a prob­lem in his vil­lage, “I want to be the one to fix it”.

The most im­por­tant thing about the new school, he said, was that it would have a li­brary, and com­put­ers. Also im­por­tant is trans­port. “I’ve heard there will be minibuses or buses tak­ing us to school,” he said.

He now walks the 3km dis­tance from his home to school.

The Nel­son Man­dela School of Science and Tech­nol­ogy, the first sec­ondary school to be built in Mvezo, will ac­com­mo­date 700 pupils from Mvezo and sur­round­ing ru­ral vil­lages. There will be 25 class­rooms, net­ball and soc­cer fields, two com­puter labs, an en­gi­neer­ing de­sign lab, and a state-of-the-art re­sources cen­tre.

BUILD­ING BLOCKS: The site of the new school cam­pus in Mvezo be­ing built fol­low­ing a re­quest for help to Siemens from Nel­son Man­dela.

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