Telkom Executive supports skills development
Telkom’s Group Executive of Legal Services, Mr Anton Klopper officially
opened a Skills Centre at New Hope School (NHS) on Tuesday, 18 February.
This was made possible by Mr Klopper’s participation in the Telkom Foundation’s
Through the programme, Mr Klopper, managed the donation that funded the
building of the Skills Centre at the school. A plaque was ceremoniously
unveiled jointly by Mr Klopper and Mr DGF Harmse at in the presence of
parents, learners and other community members and invited guests.
The Adopt-a-Project initiative encourages Telkom executives to patron
a community project of their choice in various ways through financial support,
time and skills contribution. Telkom Foundation makes funds available to
participants for implementation purposes.
"My choice of project to adopt was a simple one. From the first time I
visited the school I knew that I should somehow get involved. I was touched
by the challenges that the Principal and staff were confronting every day,
with smiles on their faces," said Mr Klopper.
He added that skills development would go a long way in giving those that
are differently-abled the opportunity to enter the formal job market. “Technical
skills, like those that will be taught here at the New Hope School Skills
Centre, will give our learners the chance to enter the job market and contribute
meaningfully in the work environment.”
The aptly named New Hope School, established in 1971, is a non-profit
organisation and one of the largest schools for special needs education
in South Africa.
Imbued with a combination of inspiration, aspiration and innovation the
school is governed and guided by the needs of its learners. With the individual
strengths of each learner in mind, NHS strives constantly achieve its goals
which are focused on the education and training of learners with cerebral
palsy, permanent physical disabilities, metabolic disorders or syndromes,
traumatic brain injuries as well as specific learning disabilities.
At the school, the standard Department of Education Curriculum, although
adapted according to the specific educational needs of the individual learners,
is followed from pre-school up to Grade 12 in the academic stream.
Adapted curriculums are followed in both the Vocational and Life Skills
streams by these learners who, as a result of their specific barrier/s
to learning, are not able to follow the standard curriculum.
Mr Klopper’s adoption of the school has also facilitated the purchase
of specialised tools and machinery that is suitable for the application
of many artisan trade skills by physically challenged individuals. One
such example is the TeachWeld system which simulates welding activities.
NHS is the very first school to be equipped with this equipment and will
use it for in-centre training prior to learners’ exposure to the real thing.
Skills developed here will ensure that these learners’ capacity to create
or find jobs is enhanced.
Addressing guests at the opening ceremony, Mr Harmse, Principal at NHS,
said, “We are not going to cope without the support of our local sponsors
like Telkom. We salute you for the contributions to us on behalf of your
constituencies. Your efforts are enabling us as parents and educators at
NHS to proceed with the task at hand with enthusiasm and pride to keep
our position as one of the flag ship schools of the Republic of South Africa.”
“I am most grateful to The Telkom Foundation for the Adopt-a-Project initiative.
It has made it easier for me to get involved in this project that will
continue giving to many for many years to come, “concluded Mr Klopper.