Laptops for Top Students
Top performing students at UKZN’s School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science have received new laptops from Buckman Laboratories.
Buckman Laboratories is a leading manufacturer of specialty chemicals for water treatment, pulp and paper, and leather industries, which opened in Jacobs, Durban, in 1971.
Eight years later, the company moved to Hammarsdale west of Durban, where it now has a 2 000m2 OHSA 18001-rated factory that also boasts the ISO 9001 quality management standard and the 14001 environment management standard.
Buckman Cares is a global initiative that that was launched to identify all the community outreach projects and volunteer hours contributed by Buckman employees. The mission of its Local Community Relations Council (LCRC) is to ensure that Buckman Africa remains a responsible corporate citizen by uplifting communities through encouraging and supporting associates’ volunteer efforts and by the dedication of resources in the focus areas of education, with an emphasis on youth, health and human services and the environment.
The Buckman Local Community Relations Council (LCRC) developed the idea of running a winter school programme for children in Hammarsdale with the aim being to assist youngsters in preparation for their final mathematics examination. They then had dealings with Dr Aneshkumar Maharaj and Professor Kesh Govinder from UKZN’s School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science about the feasibility of the project.
Buckman LCRC sponsored five teachers to undertake the Math130 programme in 2014 and nine teachers the Math140 programme in 2015. Mr Mukesh Ramatar from Buckman said: ‘These projects supported our mission with respect to empowering teachers and youth, in order for them better to transfer this knowledge to the children of South Africa.’
In addition, the LCRC sponsored laptops for the five teachers who attended the Maths130 programme. ‘The drive behind this initiative was to give the teachers a tool which could better their knowledge and assist them in preparation for their classes,’ said Ramatar.
A few weeks later, this donation was followed by a substantial sponsorship of 25 laptops to top performing mathematics, statistics and computer science students from quintile one and two schools who are currently studying at UKZN. Ramatar said: ‘The sponsorship was to encourage the students continuously to do their best and to remind them that companies like Buckman look to attract the best candidates when out on recruitment drives.’
Buckman’s General Manager of Operations, Mr Martin Connor, said: ‘Buckman’s focus, through our LCRC, are on projects that will be sustainable and will have an everlasting impact on our community and stakeholders. Our philosophy is in line with the proverb, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. Through our partnership with UKZN, Buckman is confident we are meeting this commitment and ultimately ensuring that we contribute, in our small way, to the development of education and the youth of our nation.’
Academic Leader Teaching and Learning in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, Dr Aneshkumar Maharaj, said: ‘It was clear at the presentations that the teachers and students were very excited when they received their laptops. The laptops will facilitate their studies with regard to the e-learning resources that our School provides to our students. For example, they could access the module websites and download lecture notes for use when convenient to them.’