Category: Osizweni

Osizweni Science Centre and KPMG recognises committed Accounting teachers


Teachers are awarded for 100% attendance to the KPMG Accounting Academy workshops

~ by Angela Stratford

Accounting in the Standerton Sub-region is well supported through the partnership between KPMG, the Regional Department of Education and the Osizweni Science Centre.

Support is given to Accounting teachers through the establishment of the KPMG Accounting Academy in 2012. This Academy was established to address the poor results in the subject and will ultimately contribute to addressing the acute shortage of chartered accountants in South Africa. The Academy aims to equip teachers with the skills and knowledge to empower their learners to perform.

KPMG employees conduct monthly workshops for teachers in the Standerton Sub-Region, this includes schools from the Govan Mbeki, Lekwa and Dipaleseng municipalities. Material is prepared by qualified KPMG employees based on the Grade 12 Accounting curriculum and recommendations by the Department of Education District Subject Advisors.

In honour of attendance to the Academy throughout the year, a recognition ceremony is held. This year’s ceremony was held on 24 October 2017 at the Sasol Recreation club in Secunda. The event was attended by representatives of the Gert Sibande District Department of Education, by school principals, teachers in the programme as well as various Osizweni and KPMG representatives.

Teachers are awarded for 80% attendance to the KPMG Accounting Academy Workshops

Ms Dumsile Vilakazi, Deputy Chief Education Specialist, who spoke on behalf of the Department of Education confirmed that the Standerton Sub-Region had outperformed the other two regions in Gert Sibande. She attested this to the support given to schools by KPMG and Osizweni Science Centre. It was also stated that Highveld Ridge West circuit achieved first place for Accounting in the province for the class of 2016. Teachers were urged to continue their commitment to the Academy as there was a definite improvement to the quality of results in schools.

During the recognition ceremony, teachers who attended 80% of the workshops were recognised. Two teachers were awarded for 100% attendance, Mr Joseph Gwatara from Highveld Muslim School and Ms Zinhle Mzimela from Sizwakele Secondary School.

Mr Kyle Benn from KPMG during the vote of thanks

In closing, Mr Kyle Benn, from KPMG, thanked Osizweni Science Centre, the Department of Education and teachers for their commitment over the years. He reminded them that the Academy was for their benefit and they were more than welcome to make inputs to further the success of results in schools.

Osizweni Toy Library celebrates heritage day.

~ by Angela Stratford

The Osizweni Toy Library, a place where children are not only given the opportunity to play and have fun with a variety of educational toys that have been designed to cultivate cognitive, social, psychological and physical competences but, a platform that encourages children to celebrate and embrace one another’s differences.

This year the Toy Library hosted a heritage day celebration on the 20th of September 2017. This event brought about various Day Care Centres together in celebration of national diversity, unity, humanity, values, languages, customs as well as our different cultures.

The spirit of celebration and major excitement was evident in the eyes of many children as they not only paraded in their cultural attire but also delivered beautiful performances through cultural music, songs and dances that are choreographed and performed by different cultural groups found in South Africa.

It was very humbling to witness such beauty. I was in complete awe of the unfolding event of the day. I am grateful that the younger generation is being taught such customs, I am also glad that they are fully embracing who they are and the different cultures that surround them. Through these children our South African culture will be preserved, our future fully rests in their hands” said Fionah Manthata, Osizweni Marketing Assistant.




Osizweni Develops ECD learners through competitions


~ by Angela Stradford

Early childhood development, a concept that might not be that familiar with our community, is slowly becoming more and more popular. Parents and schools are realising the impact proper early learning has on children.

Osizweni’s Toy Library provides children at the early childhood developmental phase (age 3-7) with opportunities to use a variety of educational toys that have been specifically designed to cultivate their cognitive, social, psychological and physical competencies in fun and interesting ways. The centre is not merely for the purpose of keeping the children occupied outside the conventional classroom. It is facilitated learning through a wide array of educational equipment, guided by practitioners and the Toy Library staff. As the children navigate through the different educational tasks, they acquire skills and competencies (such as sustained concentration; adequate grasp of chronology; resilience; social cohesion; self-confidence) that enhance their school readiness levels, and allow their transition from preschool to school to be less stressful.

On a weekly basis over 30 Early Childhood learning Centres visit the Toy Library in an attempt to benefit from the many educational resources made available to them. On an annual basis, the Toy Library hosts a competition for the top 10 attending Early Childhood Centre’s. These Centres compete against one another in an aim to achieve the following:

  • Give learners an opportunity to express themselves by displaying the knowledge and skills they have acquired at the Centre throughout the year
  • Introduce learners to healthy competition from a young age.
  • To lay a good foundation enabling better progression in life.
  • To encourage and enhance the love for numeracy and literacy.
  • Encourage and motivate Practitioners through the performance of their learners.
  • Allows Practitioners introspection of their work.

Learners compete in teams by taking part in 15 different activities, these activities included puzzles; numeracy worksheets; patterns; Maths lotto; Maths bingo; visual tracking; threading and matching objects. These inter-active activities are either done manually or are computer based.

ECD centres rotate their group of learners between activities. Learners begin the activity at the same time, the top three winners in each activity are selected based on correctly completing the activity in the shortest amount of time. The school with the highest amount of placings wins the overall competition.

This year’s winners for the Grade R group of learners are Illuminate Day Care Centre in first place followed by Bambanani Day care Centre in second place and Isiqalo Day Care Centre in third place. The winners for the age 4-5 group of learners are Ekujabuleni Day Care Center in first place followed by illuminate Day Care Centre in second place and Isidingo Day Care Centre in third place.

The impact which the Toy Library has on learners is always seen during these competitions. Most of the best performing Day Care Centres are those who are committed and consistent in their weekly attendance to the Toy Library the learners did well and we are very thankful to the Day Care Centres that participated in the competitions” said Maker Masemola, Osizweni Toy Library Senior Practitioner.


Osizweni holds Annual General Meeting

~ by Angela Stratford

On an annual basis the Osizweni Science Centre holds their Annual General Meeting. This year’s meeting was held on 28 September 2017 at the Secunda Sasol Recreation Club. The purpose of the meeting is to reflect on the previous financial year’s activities and financial report.

The meeting is also used as a platform to network with the Centre’s current and potential stakeholders. The meeting was attended by the Centre’s Founder, Sasol as well as Armscor, Proconics, Thyssenkrupp, KPMG, Megchem and Shisela representing corporate South Africa. Stakeholders and beneficiaries in Education attended in the form of Gert Sibande College, Department of Education officials, principals and teachers.

Mr Velaphi Gumi, Osizweni General Manager

A clear message reported in the meeting is that there is a definite shift towards the upliftment of Early Childhood Development (ECD). It was reported that a group of 20 ECD practitioners were in the process of being formally trained in ECD level 4.

Success in the class of 2016’s matric results was due to Saturday classes held in support of Mathematics, Physical Science, Life Science and Accounting classes. These also took place in the school holidays, a commitment was made to continue in this effort to support the current crop of Grade 12 learners through to their final exams.

The occasion was graced with the testimonials of two beneficiaries of the Centre, Ms Jana Prinsloo, a teacher bursary holder and Ms Lucia Manthata, founder of Little Harvard’s Kids Academy and a beneficiary to the Osizweni Toy Library. Other speakers included the Acting Regional Director of Gert Sibande Department of Education, Mr PP Magagula; A representative of the Centre’s founder Sasol, Mr Willem Jacobs and a message of support from the Lekwa municipality Mayors office, MMC: VP Malinga.

Stakeholders were assured that the Osizweni Science Centre was in good financial standing “From a governance perspective, I’m pleased to announce that as a non-profit organisation, we remain financially sound with a clean audit for yet another year, giving the board the reassurance that pertinent laws and regulations as well as sound business practices are in place.” said Mr Simon Baloyi, Osizweni Board of Trustees Chairperson.

In closing, Mr Velaphi Gumbi, General Manager of the Centre said “I believe that in the Osizweni community, what we have is an exemplary example of a movement that is built to sustain the change we experience in the context of increased business demands, and the unprecedented levels of stress currently being experienced as a result of the financial constraints most organisations are forced to face. This is due to a very simple philosophy we all uphold at our organisation; that of valuing collaboration and education above all else.


Emba Grade 12 – Motivational Session.

Grade 12 learners from various schools in eMbalenhle attended the motivation session

~ by Angela Stratford

Osizweni together with the Department of Education hosted a motivation session for Grade 12 learners for Secondary Schools in eMbalenhle on Monday 28 August 2017 at the eMbalenhle Sasol Recreation Club. The purpose of this intervention was to motivate Grade 12 learners to invest time into their studies so that an improvement can be seen in their year-end results.

Mrs Dumisile Vilakazi, Deputy Chief Education Specialist from the Gert Sibande Region Department of Education shared a presentation which clearly outlined the overall results per school for the past 3 quarters in each subject. This exercise gave Grade 12 learners the opportunity to reflect back on their past performance and motivate them to study even harder as they are approach their final exams.

The event saw a various speakers who have travelled different journeys in life coming together to deliver speeches and motivate the Grade 12 learners. One of the speakers, Sharon Zamisa who is also an Osizweni staff member, spoke about the importance of delayed gratification, where she encouraged learners to work hard today so they may reap the rewards in the future.

Mr Prince Ndela, a former Osizweni Project A learner and a fourth year student at the University of Witwatersrand delivering his motivational speech.

Another speaker, Prince Ndela, a former Osizweni Project A learner and a fourth year student at the University of Witwatersrand, spoke about the sacrifices one needs to make to achieve your dreams. “When you decide to change your life and focus fully on your studies you must be prepared to loose friends along the way, let that not bother you as you would be taking a step in the right direction “said Mr. Ndlela.

A total of 6 learners each from the different secondary schools shared their schools strategy on how they are planning on achieving better results at the end of the year. These strategies included interventions such as afternoon classes, morning sessions as well as teachers especially in practical subjects such as Mathematics and Physical Science becoming more of assistants rather than teachers, meaning they will be giving out equations and monitoring if each student is doing it correctly as opposed to standing in front of the class and solving equations for their learners.

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep on moving forward” said one of the learners from Thomas Nhlabathi Secondary School as he quoted Martin Luther King Jr.

Grade 12 learners from various schools in eMbalenhle attended the motivation session

“Overall it was a successful session, the response from the Grade 12 learners was impeccable. We hope that there will be a positive change in their year-end results.” said Fionah Manthata, Osizweni Marketing Assistant.