There is much focus on the later grades in high school where learners are grappling with science and maths concepts. But, many of the misconceptions and problems that are evident at this level, often have their roots in the primary school phase. To attempt to improve the STEM subjects in South Africa, we actually need to start at the beginning and secure a strong foundation on which learners can build their future Science and Technology careers.
This is something that we at Siyavula and the Sasol Inzalo Foundation believe strongly in. Not only this, but both organizations recognize the power and potential of open educational resources to make a difference to education in South Africa. This set the stage for a strong partnership to
produce resources for Natural Sciences and Technology for Grades 4-6 to be printed by the
Department of Basic Education for every child in a government school in 2013.
The Sasol Inzalo Foundation was established as part of South Africaâs single biggest black economic empowerment (BEE) equity transaction. This transferred 10% of Sasol shares into the hands of South Africans from designated groups in September 2007. Part of the transaction was the allocation of 1,5% of Sasolâs shares to the Sasol Inzalo Foundation.
The Foundation is a public benefit organisation, governed by an independent board of trustees. We are an operating foundation that drives excellence in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education at all levels of the education value chain.
We are not a grant giving entity, although requests for funding are considered that match our strategy and create opportunities for effective partnerships.
"Siyavula" is a Nguni word which means "we are opening". Formerly seeded by the Shuttleworth Foundation, Siyavula supports and encourages communities of teachers to work together, openly share their teaching resources and benefit from the use of technology.
We believe in openness in education. When educators openly share their learning and teaching material such as lessons plans, notes, worksheets, presentations and exam questions with one another, everybody benefits from them; communities of educators working together. When educators collaborate to create and adapt teaching material, share best practices and support one another, they can achieve great things.