Municipal Institute Of LearningMILE - Municipal Institute Of Learning
Pupil’s I-SET for the future
Instead of spending the beginning of their school holiday’s playing video games or shopping, pupils from various schools across eThekwini decided to learn how to build a robot at an I-SET two-day workshop hosted by UNISA in partnership with MILE and Imagine Durban recently.
 
I-SET  is an UNISA Community Engagement Project aimed at inspiring young people and their communities’ interest in Science, Engineering and Technology through fun-filled educational workshops. Pupils were expected to build and programme their robots during the workshop. The results were phenomenal as educators witnessed first-hand how pupils with the help of the designated facilitators, built magnificent robots that moved with ease. 

The event directly responded to the challenges being faced in the country in terms of skills shortages in science, engineering and technology. Initiatives like this encourage pupils to develop an interest in these fields, beginning at primary school levels.

An Educator who participated in the workshop, Ms Ishara Koobal from Sastri Park Secondary explained her interest in this project.

“The school that I work for is very poor so I try my best as an educator to network and attend workshops of this calibre with the hope of helping the pupils at my school.  Pupils at my school are not exposed to the latest technology the world has to offer. They do not have access to computers at home or school.  I want my pupils to get involved in this initiative. This is an excellent platform to generate I-SET skills. We want to develop new thinkers in society who can bring forth change to the country and the world at large,” emphasised Ms Koobal.
 
Silindile Nyerende a grade 11 pupil of Chestervillle Secondary School was super thrilled to be part of this event.

“This was a fantastic experience, I had no previous knowledge about how to build or even programme a robot, but today I am actually made my robot move through an obstacle course (laughs). I have gained so much of knowledge through this experience and I will definitely share what I have learnt with other kids from my school.  This experience has developed my love towards science and I want to be a forensic scientist one day,” said the charismatic Silindile.

Jeevi Pillay a Project Co-ordinator at UNISA’s Bright Site project said, “The I-SET workshop forms part of the community engagement projects that UNISA is involved in. Science, engineering and technology are wanted skills in South Africa. Through this we can encourage pupils to develop a growing interest to pursue careers in these sectors.  We thank eThekwini for encouraging schools to attend this event. We look forward to further engagements with the city to strengthen the existing partnership.

MILE who has a signed MOA with Durban University’s are working towards clenching a formal agreement with UNISA in the near future.
 

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