Sasria playing a role in the fourth industrial revolution through maths and science

16 August 2018 Tshepiso Chocho, Sasria
Tshepiso Chocho, acting executive manager for People Management at Sasria.

Tshepiso Chocho, acting executive manager for People Management at Sasria.

EduCate, the nationwide matric maths and science revision programme, is geared for yet another launch this month, just in time for the preliminary exams.

In its eighth year, EduCate, a Primestars initiative, presents a practical, scalable model to cover the entire matric curriculum and helps learners to improve their maths and science knowledge before final exams. This year’s annual launch will take place on August 16. Sasria SOC Ltd is in its third year as a partner in this programme.

“The initiative has had a positive impact on learners and their teachers, of which we at Sasria are very proud,” says Tshepiso Chocho, acting executive manager for People Management at Sasria. “This indicates that we are doing something right and significantly impactful.”

Chocho says Sasria’s education CSI initiatives also try to benefit the financial sector, which has been found to have a scarcity in black managers. This initiative addresses this issue at the foundation phase.

“It addresses three intentions in one: firstly, it allows us to align our CSI with efforts to increase employment and employability for those living in disadvantaged areas, as outlined by the National Development Plan (NDP). Secondly, it focuses on increasing the number of black people employed in middle and senior management within the financial sector. And thirdly, maths and science speaks very clearly to the fourth industrial revolution and helps this generation of students to be ready,relevant and equipped for future skills . This is something we cannot ignore.”

The fourth industrial revolution is all about digitisation, artificial intelligence, big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), technology and robotics.

“Professionals in all those sectors need maths and science,” says Chocho.

Primestars has opened up the minds of learners from disadvantaged areas to more than just maths and science, but choosing movie theatres as venues for the revision is sure to kickstart the lateral thinking necessary in a digital era.

“There isn’t a better or more exciting way to learn than in a movie theatre, with hundreds of children just like you getting the same exposure. Most of these children have never been inside a movie theatre,” says Chocho.

The theatres, spread out across the country, will have subject matter experts present to address any questions that might arise from the learners.

Sasria has been involved in a number of initiatives that promote education. One such programme is the South African Actuaries Development Programme (SAADP) implemented in 2003.

“Sasria is one of the founders of SAADP,” explains Chocho. “The programme was designed to address the skills shortage in the South African financial industry. We help with funding that supports students across the country to complete their studies in this field. So far SAADP has produced 30 qualified actuaries and 253 actuarial graduates. There are currently 238 undergraduate students on the programme.”

Sasria’s education-related CSI initiatives are broad, including extra lessons in maths, science and English in identified provinces over school holidays. Teachers also benefit from upskilling and training.

“It is important for us to give a chance to children from previously disadvantaged areas to enter the spaces that we inhabit and make a lasting impact. Experience has taught us that maths and science are always worthwhile mechanisms to use when bridging the gap,” says Chocho.

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