About SERI and COSAT
SERI [The Science Education Resources Initiative] is a registered, non-profit organization that operates in Khayelitsha, a residential township in the Cape Town Metropole. SERI was formed in August, 2004, in response to the critical state of Mathematics and Science education in South Africa. Its purpose was twofold: to initiate programmes to allow young people with talent to reach their potential and to secure the funding necessary to maintain the very high standards set by the Centre of Science and Technology [COSAT].
In the Khayelitsha primary schools, SERI identifies Grade 7 learners of ability who have an interest in Maths and Science. It then supports these learners through their high school years, to ensure that they perform to their potential in the school-leaving examinations and are well-prepared for tertiary studies in Science-related fields.
COSAT first opened its doors in 1999 to a very small group of talented Grade 10s with an interest in Maths and Science, who had been invited from local schools to complete their secondary education at COSAT. There was no subject choice [and this has never changed] all learners did the requisite languages, plus Maths, Science, Biology and Computer Studies. Our first Matric class was in 2001 and, typically, we had a 100% pass rate, a high exemption rate and a healthy spread of subject distinctions. At the very beginning, the precedence for excellence was set.
However, excellence was soon found to be very expensive! COSAT was always a no-fee school and could barely cover the basic running costs of the school with its official funding allocation. This was where SERI stepped in “its role was to secure sufficient funding to ensure that the school became the very best it could be.
In other words, SERI is essentially the support arm of COSAT. SERI raises funds for and manages enrichment activities and programmes at COSAT and provides academic and pastoral support to the COSAT learners.
SERI and COSAT share a mission: to prepare talented young people from disadvantaged backgrounds for later success in Maths, Science and IT related courses at academic universities, addressing, albeit in a small way, South Africa’s skills shortages in these disciplines.
Management Commitee of SERI
- Jonathan Clark - Chairman
- Helen George - Manager
- Andiswa Zothe - Administrator
- Unathi Booi - Member
- Phadiela Cooper - Member and principal of COSAT
- NomaAfrika Dywili - Member and teacher at COSAT
- Alain Russell - Secretary
- Thulani Tafeni - Member
- Estelle van Schoor - Member and teacher at COSAT