BMW focuses on STEM as Youth Day commemoration

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 18 Jun 2024
BMW Group has announced a new initiative with UNICEF, called the “STEM for Youth Mentorship Programme.
BMW Group has announced a new initiative with UNICEF, called the “STEM for Youth Mentorship Programme.

BMW Group South Africa held its third annual Youth Day event at two Tshwane-based schools to shine the spotlight on the importance of choosing careers in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

According to a statement, the event, which honoured Youth Month, hosted matriculants of Soshanguve-based Lethabong Maths, Science & ICT School of Specialisation and Soshanguve Automotive School of Specialisation – both of which share a partnership with the automotive brand, whose manufacturing plant is located nearby in Rosslyn.

In commemoration of the valiant spirit of the youth of the 1976 Soweto uprising, the event, which took place last week, focused on empowering young people as a crucial aspect of sustainable development.

Under the 2024 Youth Month theme: “Actively advancing the socio-economic gains of our democracy”, the day comprised engaging activities, including a university expo aimed at educating and guiding the students through university or college and bursary application processes.

Mbasa Kepe, manager of government and external affairs at BMW Group South Africa, comments: “Now a school of specialisation, Lethabong marks a significant milestone in the journey of regional education towards providing varied and tailored learning opportunities to students. At BMW Group South Africa, we are especially proud of the developmental strides made in this partnership.

“As we reflect on the impact of the youth of 1976 this Youth Month, we also recognise the diligence of everyone involved in today’s event and beyond it, on this journey of socio-economic gains for the students at these schools and youth in South Africa.”

BMW Group South Africa partnered with Lethabong School of Specialisation as part of its broader project with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as part of the “BRIDGE. Educating young people for tomorrow, today”.

The partnership is set to create learning opportunities in STEM, as professions within these fields drive global economic growth, according to BMW Group South Africa.

Since the inception of the programme last year, 570 educators from six provinces have been trained in coding and robotics, and 90 subject specialists from all provinces have been trained to support the educators at school level. 100 schools have benefitted from the coding and robotics training through these trained educators, it says.

At the event BMW Group South Africa announced an additional initiative with UNICEF, the “STEM for Youth Mentorship Programme”.

Young people at underprivileged schools will be identified and placed in this structured job-shadowing initiative in private and public companies.

"UNICEF is committed to building the skills of teachers to strengthen the quality and relevance of education so today’s learners can best transition into the ever-evolving world of work," adds UNICEF South Africa representative, Christine Muhigana.

“We are proud to partner with BMW Group South Africa to educate young people today, for tomorrow. A better future for learners is possible with innovative STEM education at its core to enhance learning and youth opportunities for every child and strive towards a fairer and better South Africa.”