BY: Mpofu Sthandile.

A heartfelt pledge by Grade 11 pupils to make full use of their new smart learning devices has inspired the sponsor, the automotive catalyst business unit of materials technology company Umicore, to commit to funding for next year’s cohort too.

“You have made struggling in terms of studying and finding useful educational information a thing of the past. We will extract much benefit from the devices, and we surely promise that we will do our best and bring nothing but good results,” said Cowan High School pupil Ndinani Yelani as she addressed the sponsors on behalf of her Grade 11 classmates recently.

Following Yelani’s words at the handover event in New Brighton, Gqeberha, the managing director of Umicore’s automotive catalyst business unit, Michael Harris, made a surprise announcement that the sponsorship of the Odin Education ecosystem would also be extended to next year’s Grade 11 class.

The business unit’s total sponsorship will impact more than 500 pupils. It has also sponsored a full-time school liaison for Tsolo High School in Mthatha, where they will encourage and assist with the adoption of technology in the classroom.

“I hope that many other companies will be inspired by Odin Education’s initiative and join us to invest in South Africa’s future,” Harris said.

Umicore’s automotive catalyst business unit, which manufactures catalytic converters that remove harmful pollutants as part of a vehicle exhaust system, serves the global automotive sector. Its Gqeberha plant employs 200 people and is one of 50 worldwide.

This year, the company’s sponsorship has seen 90 Grade 11 pupils studying STEM subjects – which include maths and science – at Cowan High School connected to Odin Education’s ecosystem, through which they will receive access to individualised ed-tech, educational resources and platforms, connectivity, and 24-hour technical support.

They join the matric class of 2023, who were the first to be connected with Odin Education at Cowan last year following a joint sponsorship by Aveng Trident Steel, Volkswagen South Africa and IWC.

Harris said it was in Umicore’s interest to invest in the future talent required to develop the next advanced materials.

“As a circular materials technology company, we need talent to invent and develop the next generation of advanced materials. These talents aren’t growing on trees – you need to invest in the future.”

Odin Education’s head of business development, Dean Gurney, said Cowan High School was a good example of corporate businesses collaborating to make a real difference via a sustainable mechanism.

“We know that, in South Africa, education is one of the key underpinnings to address our social ills – whether it be crime, poverty, or unemployment.

“If we can find a way to bring in role players and collaborators, we can change lives today and in the future.

“Collaborations and partnerships are easy to talk about, but to find the right methodology and mechanisms to bring about real change is quite hard to do. We truly believe that the combination of companies like Umicore and the Odin Education ecosystem, investing in pupils today and for the future, is a mechanism that can truly make a difference.”

Cowan High departmental head Silulami Yeye said he was excited that the school would benefit from technology that had the power to transform education.

“I said at the beginning that I hoped we would forge a relationship that will last – not a flash in the pan, so that we can see sustainable results,” Yeye said.


For more articles please visit the following link: Articles – NGOConnectSA

Picture courtesy pexels:

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x