At a Gauteng school, students build a car without gasoline.

Learners at the new John Orr Engineering School of Specialization built a solar-powered car. The car was built to provide a solution to many challenges South Africans face.

The John Orr Engineering School of Specialization was launched by the Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, in partnership with Sasol and other companies. The school will focus on renewable energy and alternative sources of energy.

One of the projects completed by the learners was building a solar-powered car. No petrol is needed to drive the car, all that is needed is sunlight. Sunlight is converted into electrical energy to run the car.

The school of specialization was started at Witwatersrand Technical College which was a trade school. In 1970, both girls and boys attended the school when Hotel Catering Management was introduced.

20 Grade 11 learners experienced some workplace exposure at Umphakathi Development and Training, Industri Tools and Equipment VNU Industrial Supplies, JTB Industrial Solutions, and Ifhlile Training Academy. These companies are partners of the school.

Approximately 10 Grade 11 learners completed an advanced plumbing programme with Umphakathi Development and Training. They started the programme in Grade 9 and have received certification. This allows the learners to go directly into the workplace after school.

A further 10 Grade 11 learners took part in a programme with the Gauteng Education Department and Autodesk on Computer-Aided Design. The programme helps enhance their skills in Engineering Graphics and Design.

Through work experience at these companies, learners will be equipped with technical skills. They will be engineers ready to study further, work at companies such as Sasol and begin their own businesses.

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“We are here to reform our province’s educational system.” We would have misled our students if we weren’t able to give them the skills required in today’s market. Because we make quality education available through Schools of Specialization, the days when our educational system was considered subpar are long gone. According to MEC Lesufi, “We thank our crucial relationship with the collaborating business and industry specialists that made our vision a reality.”

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