Willowton Group supporting Smero

:  Ahmed Motala (New Africa Education Foundation),  Nareshini Ranganthan (Edutrade), Farouk Moosa(Willowton Group), Seluleko Njapha(SGB), Girlie Madonsela (Principal Smero Secondary School in Edenvale, Pietermaritzburg), Bongani Khuzwayo (SGB) ,Thulakele Gumede (SGB)

Ahmed Motala (New Africa Education Foundation), Nareshini Ranganthan (Edutrade), Farouk Moosa(Willowton Group), Seluleko Njapha(SGB), Girlie Madonsela (Principal Smero Secondary School in Edenvale, Pietermaritzburg), Bongani Khuzwayo (SGB) ,Thulakele Gumede (SGB) (supplied)

Deserving Pietermaritzburg school receives R75 000 worth of science kits from Willowton Group

The future for 820 pupils at Smero Secondary School in Edendale, Pietermaritzburg, has just got more promising after Willowton Group generously donated R75 000 worth of science equipment to the school.

Two years ago the Department of Education built a physical science laboratory at the well-performing school, yet this quickly became redundant as the laboratory was without science resources. Girlie Madonsela, the school’s vivacious principal, actively searched for corporate sponsorship for two years, without success, until earlier this year when the New Africa Education Foundation made contact with Willowton Group.

Willowton Group’s CEO, Abdul Razak Moosa, and his team performed a site visit in February where they were made aware of the challenges facing the school. Despite the notable lack of resources, Madonsela and her staff have managed to ignite a passion in their pupils which has seen the school achieving a matric pass rate averaging more than 85 percent for the past three years.
Madonsela also proudly boasts that, despite daily obstacles facing the pupils and the school, two former Smero Secondary School pupils are currently studying medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, while another was awarded a sought-after scholarship to study medicine in Cuba.

“Previously we had no equipment, just walls,” explained Madonsela. “The teachers would theorise and improvise to teach the children. This donation will make such a difference, not only to the school, but to the community because now there will be scientists who can uplift the area.”

A strong supporter of educational development, Willowton Group took notice of the school’s potential and its Corporate Social Responsibility Committee opted to remedy the situation. At a handover ceremony on Thursday (14 May), Smero Secondary School received three CAPS compliant science kits including a Physical Science kit (Grades 10 to 12), a Natural Science kit (Grades 8 to 9) and a Life Science kit (Grades 10 to 12).

Willowton Group Chairman, Farouk Moosa, said that donations such as these were vital in a country that was facing a dire shortage of serious skills in the science, technology, engineering and maths fields.

“All too often we find that our country’s schools – especially those serving the historically disadvantaged or today’s lower income groups – do not measure up in terms of resources,” said Moosa.

“Many fall short in terms of both infrastructure and the provision of the tools necessary to give effect to efficient teaching and effective learning, and we hope that our contribution is a small step to making an improvement.”