FOSST collaboration with ARMSCOR
The University of Fort Hare’s partnership with the South Africa’s arms manufacturer, ARMSCOR, is on the rise and will help to lift the province and the name of the university to greater heights. This follows a visit by the Armscor’s top delegation (please view the picture) to the UFH on a two day meeting between the two institutions held on 14th and 15th March 2016 in the UFH’s two campuses, viz. Alice and East London. The representatives were coming from different Sections within Armscor; Mr Solomzi Mbada is the Human Resource General Manager, Dr Noel Mkaza is the General Manager of Research and Development, Ms Japisa Khosa in the Senior Manager of Learning and Talent Development and Mr Phumlani Kubukeli is the Coordinator of Military Veterans at Armscor. The main purpose was to conduct a needs analysis following the submission of a proposal by the FOSST Discovery Centre for the running of the science centenary legacy project. The project is headed by the FOSST Discovery Manager, Mr Phumezo Kwinana.
Fort Hare is host to one of the only two science centres in the Eastern Cape called FOSST Discovery Centre that has full recognition by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). FOSST has a three-fold service delivery model, viz., (1). Education and training; (2). Outreach activities and career guidance and (3). Interactive and informal education programmes. Armscor has shown its commitment to partner with the UFH as it has awarded bursaries to five students in the Faculty of Science and Agriculture (2016 academic year) who wish to further their studies in science and engineering fields of study. This commitment is highly appreciated and welcomed by the UFH.
“Our partnership with Armscor could have never come at a suitable time when the University of Fort Hare celebrates its centenary”, said Mr Phumezo Kwinana, the Manager of FOSST at Fort Hare. The collaboration will give rise to the centenary science legacy project broadly aimed at improving learner performances in mathematics, engineering, technology and science for the betterment of rural-based schools in the region. The project will enhance the performance by learners in these subjects during Saturday classes in maths and science through use of technology and other modern ways to remedy the continued poor performance by high school leaners and high failure rate at first year tertiary level due to under- preparedness. Research has shown that few learners meet entry requirements to enrol in higher education or degree programmes and this is prevalent in the rural-based schools. This is due to the fact that most schools are less resourced to provide required quality foundation to prepare learners for smooth transition to higher education and training. The project will enable the UFH to unveil hidden talent among learners coming from disadvantaged communities. It is hoped that this initiative will grow and attract more collaborators that have similar objectives.