New science school a ray of hope for Mvezo pupils
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.