By Luyanda Makapela
The Zenex Foundation has donated R10 million to schools under the Dinaledi Project, which aims to boost high level mathematics and science at high schools.
Deputy Education Minister Enver Surty said the R10 million investment for the Zenex Foundation - Dinaledi English intervention, programme is aimed at improving learners? performance in mathematics, science and language proficiency.
"I would like to congratulate the Zenex Foundation for responding to the call to partner with the Dinaledi schools,' Mr Surty said at the launch of a partnership between the Department of Education and Zenex Foundation.
"The R10 million investment of the Dinaledi English intervention programme is an investment in the future of our country and is greatly appreciated.'
The Dinaledi schools project is aimed at increasing access to maths and science at higher - grade level in underprivileged schools.
Ten of the Dinaledi schools were awarded the Most Improved School Award in March this year.
Deputy Minister Surty said there were already 12 000 learners in Dinaledi schools enrolled in mathematics higher - grade who will sit for the senior certificate examinations.
"The department and other partners have so far provided the Dinaledi schools in need with relevant resources to improve teaching and learning. It is our belief that the majority of learners at these schools will be successful in their examination,' he said.
Mr Surty said out of 599 000 candidates enrolled for the senior certificate examinations this year, 523 069 had enrolled for English (second additional language) as an examination subject.
"This makes English the highest enrolment subject and we know that this is a critical subject for opportunities beyond school'.
The Deputy Minister announced that close to 600 000 learners will sit for the exams, "this increased number of enrolled learners demonstrate a clear resolve to improve access to schooling that we have achieved'.
As part of efforts to increase the number of science literate students, the department has tested
4 500 maths and science teachers to check their competency levels to teach such subjects.
In 2006, the department reported that in terms of teacher development, 120 master teachers were appointed and an additional 2 400 teachers were being trained.
However, the department had hoped that the number of participating schools will be expanded from 400 to 500 in 2008.