Tshepo Mahanuke: Reverse Engineering Specialist addressing the secondary learners
Ululations, clapping of hands and stamping of feet were heard when learners and educators experienced the official opening of Idea2Product Labs at two secondary schools based at Sharpeville on 31 May.
The first school visited was Lebohang Secondary School and later the proceedings took place at Thuto Lore Comprehensive School. Programme director at both events was Mr Zacharia Moalahi: Head of Department for I2P Lab at VUT. Mr Tshepo Mahanuke: Reverse Engineering Specialist at VUT Southern Gauteng Science and Technology Park gave the background of the programme and its benefits to the greater community.
Mr Mahanuke also thanked MerSETA for its partnership, contribution and support of the programme while the Science Park’s Executive Director, Dr Joseph Molete spoke about the reason for the existence of the precinct and how it operates.
Mr Jan Jooste Director in the Engineering Department at VUT talked about the product development life-cycle within the I2P Lab, from conceptual to prototype phase and how learners will benefit from interactive and contact based education in the lab. Mr Ngaka Motaung, the Senior Education Specialist for Technology talked about benefits educators as well as learners will draw from utilising the lab to facilitate effective teaching and learning.
On behalf of Lebohang, the Principal Mr. Patrick Kgalapa acknowledged the presence of delegates and attendees: “This is the beginning of a very fruitful partnership and we are thankful for this opportunity,” he said.
Thuto Lore Comprehensive School principal, Mr Thabo Lehobo said he was very pleased to have his school honoured with the presence of people who would love to take education forward.
On behalf of the Department of Education, Ms. Mondo Mokhele: Senior Education Specialist for Technology, shared how this initiative will have an impact on the Technology Curriculum. Mr Willem Goodchild, Senior Education Specialist for Engineering Graphics and Design (EGD), explained the benefits of the programme for the learners and the entire school. The Department of Education’s vision, in terms of this initiative, was presented by the Chief Education Specialist for Curriculum, Ms Jaqueline De Souza.
Dr Molete took the pleasure of cutting the ribbons at both schools to officially open the labs while the principals, with the assistance of their deputies, held up their plaques with excitement and pride.
After much cheering, delegates and a few selected learners proceeded to view the 3D Printers at the labs and the exhibitions at the MerSETA bus.