Zibambeleni gets a science laboratory

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LANXESS donates a new science laboratory to Zibambeleni Secondary School at Osizweni,

The Mayor of Amajuba District Municipality, Cllr Dr Musa Ngubane, accompanied by other Councillors from the district municipality attended the official hand-over of a science laboratory to Zibambeleni Secondary School. The school was identified by the Mayor and the provincial government as a school that needed support. A science laboratory was one of the needs identified and the Office of the Mayor started the process to engage various stakeholders to assist. LANXESS raised their hand!

The official hand-over of this laboratory took place on the 17th January 2019 at Zibambeleni Secondary School.

Learners and teachers at Zibambeleni Secondary School at Osizweni, Newcastle, will soon reap the benefits of learning in a new science laboratory following a donation by LANXESS CISA (Pty) Ltd, a chrome chemicals production facility based in the Newcastle Chemical Park.

Zibambeleni school is the fourth LANXESS Corporate Responsibility beneficiary within the context of the LANXESS education initiative, that promotes education in schools around its production facilities in the Newcastle area. The school’s science laboratory, furnished with essential starter-pack, will ensure that learners have the opportunity to conduct basic science experiments in an environment that is conducive to learning.

Other schools are Jobstown High School where a classroom was built and handed over in 2018, Hlabana Primary School, in 2017, which had an incomplete classroom due to a lack of funds. Apart from completing the building structure, LANXESS also furnished the classroom with electricity connection, desks and chairs for both learners and teacher, a cupboard and a chalkboard, while addressing the issue of overcrowding and Bumbisizwe Special School for the physically challenged, deaf and learners with Autism where, in 2016, LANXESS supported the school with specially designed park homes.

LANXESS strongly believes that education is key to South Africa’s economic development, hence the company’s commitment to education is considered a keystone of its sustainable corporate policy.

Corporate Responsibility is an integral part of LANXESS’s strategy. Through it, the company aims to bring in line economic, ecological and social considerations, while implementing targeted initiatives, including those directly and indirectly contributing to education. It is for this reason that LANXESS saw the need to invest toward the procurement and construction of the science laboratory to help learners develop skills in, and a love for, science.

“As LANXESS we understands that we do not operate in isolation to our surrounding communities. Our Corporate Responsibility is one way of ensuring that LANXESS’ contribution to this country and the community of Newcastle improves and sustains the quality of life of the people in the communities in which we operate. This laboratory will make a huge difference in the teaching and learning of science at Zibambeleni school. The learners will now be able to see and touch science equipment while they witness experiments coming alive, thus helping them understand better and to perform better. Our education initiative is designed to encourage learners to take an interest in science and make them aware of the diverse career opportunities in the field of maths and science”, said LANXESS CISA (Pty) Ltd. Managing Director, Mr Gerhardus Strydom.

“As a company, we care about investments of this nature, just as much as we are concerned about a lack of emphasis put on the important role science, technology, engineering and mathematics education has in catalysing state economies and workforce readiness post matric and tertiary studies. Our challenge as employers, especially LANXESS, as a specialty chemicals company in South Africa, is helplessly watching learners from our surrounding communities not being encouraged to choose Mathematics and Science subjects so they can follow disciplines that would not place them at risk of adding to the population of the jobless, unable to support their families and contribute to economic growth. As industries, we continuously grapple with dilemmas arising from an acute skills shortage, owing to the low standard of mathematics and science education in the country”, concludes Strydom.

Expressing his gratitude on behalf of the Department of Education, Ms Gugu Masondo, Circuit Manager for Osizweni Circuit, said, “I would like to thank LANXESS for opening your heart and purse, and give this school and the community of Osizweni the freedom to education. The kind of support you continue to show to schools in the Amajuba District, Newcastle, is too great to mention. As the Department of Education, we remain deeply touched by your choice of investments driven by your business strategic pillars”.

An elated Mr V Nyandeni, Principal of Zibambeleni Secondary School said. “This very generous donation will further enhance the school to realise its vision and that of the National Development Plan 2025. It is good to see large companies such as LANXESS playing a part in developing a passion for chemistry in order to attract learners to the careers that require science as a subject. It pleases me to know that this laboratory will benefit around 60 learners annually, hence I must challenge each student to treat this laboratory like gold as many generations should benefit from it”

The Mayor, Cllr Dr Musa Ngubane, is excited about this new development and is hoping that more partners will come forward through their Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and assist more schools in need around the district.