Regarded as the largest career guidance exhibition of its kind in South Africa, Sasol TechnoX is a career guidance exhibition that attracts learners from seven South African provinces. The flagship exhibition seeks to stimulate interest in the technological application of Science and Mathematics among learners, teachers and the general public. This is done by giving visitors the opportunity to see and experience the numerous opportunities Mathematics, Science and Technology hold, through exhibitions and workshops by industry, government and non-government organisations as well as tertiary academic institutions. This year’s theme was “Dream. Explore. Become”
PSA visited this year’s exhibition and met with a proud young man, willing to share his experiences with other learners. Trevor Jay Chapman, a learner at the Sasolburg Technical High School very excited to be part of the very first Gr 12-group that have Technical Mathematics and Technical Science as part of his subject package. He is excited about the fact that these subjects are strong stepping stones for any technical career from Artisan to Engineer. He further mentioned the possibility of following the hands-on route to one day become an Engineer, thus not going the traditional University route.
These subjects were introduced in 2015 nationally at Technical schools to assist South Africa in addressing the huge technical skills shortage in our country, especially to promote Artisan careers.
We asked the school Principal, Mr Dirk Coetsee to share his opinion from a teacher point of view and he said “the level of Technical Mathematics and Science might be too close to that of Mathematics and Physical Science, hence perhaps still not opening opportunities to more potential Artisans”.
Has the Department of Education succeeded in their goal? Will South Africa see more Artisan enrolments next year? Did it offer an alternative for learners away from the so-called pure Mathematics and Physical Science?
UMalusi is scheduled to host a Seminar on “The standing of Technical Sciences and Technical Mathematics” at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology on 31 August to lead a discussion on these matters. We shall update you on this story after the seminar.
PSA applauds and supports this initiative as one of the ways to address the critical technical skills shortage in South Africa. We would love to learn what your views and expectations are.