Mpilisweni School of Specialisation officially launches in Gauteng

Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) MEC, Matome Chiloane, officially launched the Mpilisweni Maths, Science & ICT School of Specialisation, with a focus on Manufacturing and Logistics in Katlehong, Ekurhuleni, on Tuesday.

This public secondary school specialises in Manufacturing and Logistics because of the Economic Development Corridor in which it is located.

The GDE said it intentionally streamlines its schools to match the focuses of each of the schools’ Economic Development Corridors, thus responding to the skills gap of each corridor.

Katlehong is a large township in the Gauteng province of South Africa. It is located 28km south-east of Johannesburg, between two other townships, Thokoza and Vosloorus, which are all next to the N3 highway.

According to the department, learners from the school demonstrated a wide array of advanced skills during the official launch.

“These include a smart truck that they built, which is meant to use solar power instead of petrol. Learners proceeded to show extensive knowledge in DNA profiling, using biotechnology and gel electrophoresis to analyse DNA.

“The school also features a driving simulator, which is able to simulate other real-world environments. Other inventions included a solar tracking panel which detects light sources similar to a sunflower, as well as a LiFi connected sound system,” the GDE said. LiFi is a high speed, bidirectional and fully networked wireless communication of data using light.

The GDE said the crown jewel of the learners’ creation is a smart factory that uses smart automation to operate and produce bread from scratch.

Girl learners first exhibited a model of the factory, which includes automation and mechatronics that they envision using in the future.

The MEC had the opportunity of viewing the actual factory and getting a taste of the bread. The school sells the loaves of bread to schools in surrounding areas at only R9.90 a loaf.

The factory is a result of the partnership between the Gauteng Department of Education and Sifiso Edtech, which is invested in providing real-world applications of innovative technology in education.

Albany is also a partner, with their baking expertise, fusing learner knowledge with practical resources that do not only result in mere loaves of bread, but essentially nurtures the minds and bodies of learners, and ultimately the community.

Mpilisweni is a no-fee school that relies entirely on Section 21 allocation for financial upkeep.

The school has maintained a 90%+ matric pass rate for the past three years. A survey done by the department indicates that most parents prefer to enrol their children at Mpilisweni due to the quality of teaching and the improved performance.

“It is through this backdrop of consistent performance and in this developing community that we launch an innovative School of Specialisation to produce the province’s model citizens. Learners at Mpilisweni will benefit from a wide array of skills within the manufacturing and logistics industry that reach beyond the standard curriculum,” Chiloane said.