When a False Bay TVET College team went to Joe Slovo Technical High School last year, it was part of their routine visits to cement, deepen and broaden relationships with feeder schools.
However, the team from the Khayelitsha Campus Engineering Faculty found a non-functioning car engine at the school’s workshop that had not been used for 15 years and saw an opportunity to refurbish it – for the benefit of both the school and the college.
Last week the completely renewed engine was unveiled and thunderously revved – to some cheers and ululations from the audience that included members of the Western Cape Department of Education, the school’s learners, educators, False Bay TVET College representatives, and community leaders – before it was handed over to the school.
“This is not just about a refurbished engine, but about the opportunities surrounding this project,” said Mr Sedick Waliet, an education specialist at False Bay TVET College’s motor mechanic department at the Khayelitsha campus, who led a team of lecturers and students to revamp the engine.
“The opportunity behind it is that the engine can be used as a resource of education for learners to improve their marks in maths and science so that they can apply to get into the engineering studies at our college or any other institution with good results.”
When they took it, Mr Waliet recalled that many parts were missing from the engine. They then laid out a complete ignition system, a starting system, a charging system, a cooling fan system, a choke system for cold start and an accelerator pedal. In short, all the systems you can find in a car. They also included a user manual that teachers can follow to diagnose and conduct practical assessments.
“We wanted Joe Slovo to have more than just a start-up engine. We wanted to give them a resource that will cover all aspects of automotive repairs and maintenance”.
The project has paid dividends already.
School principal Sityhilelo Ntamo revealed that Joe Slovo has enjoyed a massive jump in matric results from 46% the previous year to 74% in the last year. “We attribute these results to our relationship with False Bay TVET College. Trust us, colleagues, Joe Slovo is growing in leaps and bounds.”
Mr Ntamo expressed his gratitude to False Bay TVET College for the support they showed. “Without their effort and enthusiasm, this project would not have been achieved. I can assure you that this engine will not only help teach our learners. But it will be used and maintained as a symbol of friendship between False Bay TVET College and us”.
Programme Manager, Mr Mkhulisi Nyoni, said the project was testimony that Khayelitsha has institutions of excellence and there is hope if everyone pulls towards the same direction.
“We no longer want to work in silos; we want to combine forces and realize a better tomorrow for our young people”.
Marelize Minnaar, Programme Manager at False Bay TVET College, echoed her colleague’s sentiments and said the revamped engine would enhance students’ learning experience. “Technical and vocational training is an essential aspect of our education system, providing students with practical experience to succeed in their chosen fields of study and workplace. Furthermore, it is essential for learners to know the opportunities available at TVET colleges; that is where this collaboration comes in.”
Thandi Mahambehlala, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee for Tourism in Parliament, congratulated False Bay TVET College and Joe Slovo for the partnership and said South Africa is engulfed by a massive challenge of scarce skills and inability to produce enough industrialists. “There is a need to acquire all these skills, and it is time to ensure that many young people are enrolling at TVET colleges to meet the required skills.”