Allianz Group’s dedicated carrier for corporate and specialty insurance business in Africa, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) Africa, in partnership with the SA Medical & Education Foundation (SAME), launched a state-of-the-art maths and science center worth almost R1 million at Diepdale Secondary School in Soweto on April 18, 2018. The center, which has been equipped with maths, science and technology facilities and resources, will enable thousands of grade 8 – 12 learners from Soweto to master those subjects so they can study further within these fields and contribute in making South Africa a knowledge-based economy.
“At Allianz, our corporate responsibility focus areas are on education and youth. We firmly believe that education can make the biggest sustainable impact on communities. The Allianz Maths & Science Center promotes social inclusion of youth through innovation. Ultimately with this program, the parents will be more supportive, teachers will be better educators and learners will have their best chance of reaching their full potential,” says AGCS Africa CEO Thusang Mahlangu.
“Access to high quality education is critical to creating a knowledge-based economy. As Allianz, we are strongly committed to partnering with different stakeholders to enhance access and quality of education in South Africa, in line with the National Development Plan,” he adds
The opening of the facility solidifies government’s efforts of improving the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in the country. SAME Foundation worked with the Department of Basic Education to select the school as the hub. Importantly the organization worked closely with the school leadership, teachers and parents to ensure learners have the best chances for success in their schooling careers.
Tyrone Pols, Project Manager at SAME says, “We converted two classrooms into a modern science laboratory and an innovation center and we believe that learners from Diepdale Secondary and surrounding schools will benefit immensely from this program. Historically, academic performance has been low in this area and this facility will enable both learners and teachers to improve earning outcomes.”
“The rooms are equipped with e-learning hardware such as projectors and software to facilitate e-learning methodology. This includes a high-quality camera, which will record lessons to be uploaded to a website for future reference. For maths, learners will receive dictionaries and parents and teachers will get guidance books to facilitate smooth learning, teaching and support in the subject. The science facility is equipped with science lab stations and kits,” adds Pols.
Moreover, Allianz will introduce My Finance Coach program to educate pupils about saving, giving and spending money. In addition to this, the insurer will provide guest lessons and participate in career days, mentorship and internship schemes, amongst a broad range of activities. The employees have been involved in the project from the onset as they painted the school during Mandela Day in 2017 and also renovated the innovation center with vibrant and energetic colors of Allianz to inspire the learners to be innovative.
“Being from Soweto myself, I am thrilled to be involved in this initiative and I look forward to motivating the learners as I am able to relate to them. And with the help of other colleagues – some also from Soweto – we will be able to instill a lot more inspiration and have a lasting positive impact on the youth. I believe this is an excellent approach that is very much aligned with the culture of the broader Allianz community,” says Mahlangu.
After the demonstration of the facilities, the head boy and girl, thanked the sponsors and committed that they will use the equipment wisely. The principal, Johannes Munakisi, together with the school governing body appreciated Allianz and SAME Foundation for their support.