When it’s not trying to convince you why etolls are good, or setting up prosecution teams to clamp down on non-paying users, SANRAL does have other things with which it occupies its time. The roads agency’s latest initiative is a R30 million grant to further the education of maths, science and tech in the Free State province.

The grant was set up in partnership with the University of the Free State (UFS) with the launch of a new SANRAL Chair. Its aim is to help improve the quality of teaching in these subjects at 22 township and rural schools and forms part of the UFS School Change Project (SCP) launched by the university’s vice-chancellor, professor Jonathan Jansen.

The R30 million will be contributed over the next five years to help bring more learners from schools into science-related studies and careers, and sponsor several programmes at tertiary institutions.

The money will also go towards training 44 teachers in maths and science at each of the participating schools.

Student teacher interns will assist teachers, while SCP mentors will monitor progress through weekly visits.

The interns will receive financial support to pursue undergraduate studies in maths and science. And in return, they will commit to teaching these subjects for a period of four years after the completion of their studies.

“By partnering with the University of Free State and establishing the chair in science, mathematics and technology education, SANRAL will help to ensure that South African students can measure up to international standards in the mathematical world,” said SANRAL CEO Nazir Alli.

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