Engen upgrades Fairvale Secondary School’s Science Lab

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Learners at Fairvale Secondary School in Wentworth in Durban have welcomed much needed upgrades to the school’s science lab courtesy of Engen.

The recent upgrades follow an initial investment of R650 000 in 2016 for the construction of a brand-new science laboratory at the school.

The latest additions include repairs to connection power plugs, lab sinks and new lab stools as well as shelving, cable connections and the installation of a projector screen.

Fairvale Secondary Science Teacher Elizabeth Sullivan with grade 10 learners Ethan Mallyon, Nolwandle Nkandi and Sphelele Mbatha.

Dr James Nyawera, Engen’s Manager: Transformation and Stakeholder Engagement says the much-needed repairs and improved learning environment empowers learners to excel in the sciences.   

“Creating hands on experiential learning, ensures that the subject matter really comes alive for the learners, this also contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals specifically SDG 4 – ensuring the right to education through basic needs by enabling learners to focus on their studies and attend school with dignity” comments Nyawera.

Despite being situated in a previously disadvantaged community characterised by high unemployment, Fairvale Secondary School has consistently risen above these circumstances, defying the odds with impressive matric results. In 2022, the matric pass rate was 74.7%.

Fairvale Secondary School is also home to one of four Engen Maths and Science Schools (EMSS) which are based in the South Durban area (the others sit at Ganges High School, Hillview High School and Umlazi Commercial High School).

Science teacher Elizabeth Sullivan with Grade 10 learners Kayleigh Klein, Ashlee Thyssen, Sizeka Mbhamali and Jesse Fynn.

The Engen Maths and Science Schools are a national initiative that have run for over 35 years, and offer underprivileged grade 10-12 learners free supplementary Maths, Science and English tuition on Saturdays at ten locations across South Africa.

The programme announced a record breaking 96.7% pass rate of which 73.6% achieved bachelor passes in 2022.  This despite learners being hit with over 200 days of power cuts and being the hardest hit by the pandemic when it broke in 2020 in their Grade 10 year.

“These impressive results affirm the crucial role that the Engen supported supplementary maths and science programme plays,” adds Nyawera.

Star pupils who matriculated last year and attended the Fairvale EMSS Centre include:

Nicarla Leah Victor

Nicarla is pursuing her dream of becoming a cardiologist this year after chalking up seven distinctions in matric in 2022. Nikki,as she is affectionately known, is studying Medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal this year, after scoring 86% for English, 88% for mathematics and 93% for science.

Simangaliso Zondi
Simangaliso notched up seven distinctions in matric in 2022 and is planning to study mechanical engineering after achieving an impressive 88% for mathematics and 83% for science.

Charlise Quarrie

Charlise recorded 6 distinctions which earned her a place to study medicine at the University of Pretoria this year. Charlise achieved an impressive 86% for English and science and 87% for mathematics, marks that allow her to follow her dream of becoming a successful, passionate and joyful doctor

“We are very grateful to Engen for their support for providing an environment which enables our learners and teachers to thrive and learn,” says Mr. Conway, Acting Principal of Fairvale Secondary School.

Nyawera says the future of our country rests in the quality of education that we provide our youth, which is why Engen is actively involved in making a positive difference.

“Starting off in the late 1980’s as Engen Saturday Schools, EMSS remains central to Engen’s efforts to contribute to the growth and transformation of South Africa,” continues Nyawera.

“The programme has worked tirelessly to help transform young underprivileged people’s lives, with a focus on creating a diverse and vibrant workforce.”

EMSS centres are located around the country including Cape Town (classes are held at Belgravia and Manzombotho High), Port Elizabeth, East London, Cala and Johannesburg, and in KwaZulu-Natal where classes sit at Fairvale High School, Ganges High School, Hillview High School and Umlazi Commercial High School.