FCA Group donates parts to the Sparrow FET College

On 03 March 2016, the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Group donated brand new and unsold parts to the Automotive Repair & Maintenance class at the Sparrow FET College in Sophiatown, Johannesburg. The parts are estimated to be at the value of more than Two million rands.  These included mechanical and electrical Fiat, Chrysler and Jeep car parts, such as exhausts manifolds, fuel pump modules, brake discs, gear kits, and much more.

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“In 2015, we’ve looked at supplying these parts to schools that really need them as a way of giving back to the community. We are happy to have found Sparrow and we hope these will be of great benefit to the students,” says Richard Slowman, Accessories Manager for the FCA Group.

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The parts will go a long way to ensuring that the Sparrow FET College continues to provide quality education and training. “We thank the FCA Group for the donation, it is definitely going to be helpful. I’m sure that our students are going to reap the maximum benefits,” says the Sparrow FET College’s Operations Manager, Melanie Malema.

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The College has always thrived on the support of key industry partners such as the FCA Group. “We look forward to a long-standing relationship with the FCA Group,” adds Malema.  Through educating and training the youth the College is developing their capabilities for a better life. In order to realize this vision fully, the College needs help in different areas.

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The success of the vision relies on partnerships and collaboration with various institutions and organisations willing to provide funding or donations of any form. The Sparrow FET College is seeking to build partnerships with industry or corporates to improve the education and training of disempowered youth in South Africa with an objective of contributing to the larger objective of uplifting the country’s economy and the wellbeing of those marginalised in our society.

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Quality education – A fundamental right

The South African Constitution states in the Bill of Rights that every child has the right to an education. This means that no child should be excluded from receiving an education, regardless of their mental and physical abilities.  School is not only a place for intellectual development but also for social, emotional, physical, and creative development. A school should provide a safe nurturing environment where children have the freedom to explore their world and fulfil their potential. Children all have something in common; they all want to feel loved, accepted and appreciated, the school environment should be a place where children can receive this.

South Africa is a country that celebrates diversity and this diversity is very evident in our classrooms today. No two children are the same and teachers have to be adaptable and flexible to teach to the different levels of the children in the classroom. However in the mainstream environment this is not always possible if the gap between the learner’s abilities is too large and if there is not enough support within the school.  Inclusive education aims towards one system for all, where children of all abilities both mental and physical are educated together. There is a shift in our education system towards inclusion and many mainstream schools have implemented it successfully but it will be a long road before all schools are fully inclusive. Many teachers and parents are debating the pros and cons of an inclusive school verse separate schools that cater for different learners.

Children are naturally curious and they do want to learn, they do however learn differently and at different speeds. A remedial school is great option for children with learning challenges where they are able to learn at their own pace, and receive more individualised attention and support. Many remedial schools offer in-school therapy and support services to their learners, which is a huge help to parents who may not be able to afford or have access to therapy services for their child. Some schools also focus on more skills-based programs which equip the children with more vocational based practical skills. When deciding on a school for your child it is important to find a good fit where their strengths and talents can be built on and developed.

Keeping in mind that education is a fundamental right for all children, it is the responsibility of schools to have child-centred approaches in developing programs that will ensure good quality education for all.

Words by Samantha Bolton, a Remedial Therapist for the Sparrow Schools Educational Trust.

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Opening of multi-purpose court

It is with great pleasure that we announce the opening of the much anticipated Multi-purpose Sports court at the Sparrow Combined School. This would not have been possible without the generous contribution of Haberdasher’s Aske Boys School in the United Kingdom.

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Previously, netball was played on the soccer field with portable netball poles or on the basketball court which was not conducive in developing the skills of this sport. There has been high interest in netball and tennis at the school, so we hope to develop teams for both sports and enter competitions.

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The Combined School’s netball team facing off against the staff.

We will now be able to host home games and tournaments at the school, which will promote team unity and pride within the sporting codes. The improved facilities will also assist with improving the level of participation and the introduction of tennis at the school will promote our long-term goal of increasing exposure of different sporting domains to Sparrow learners.

Sparrow Staff facing off against the Combined School's netball team

Sparrow Staff facing off against the Combined School’s netball team

The multi-purpose court will not only enable the school to provide netball and tennis as formalised sports to the learners, we also hope to provide the wider community with facilities to participate in sporting programmes. Netball is considered one of the most popular women’s sports in South Africa and tennis is a popular activity for both men and women in South Africa.

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The Multipurpose court is invaluable to the school in achieving our goal of exposing sparrow learners to a variety of sporting activities and to ensure that they are given opportunities to develop their sporting skills.

We would like to thank the people in England from Haberdasher’s, who were responsible for raising the money so that our learner’ lives can be changed for the better.  Jackie Gallagher, Sparrow Schools Educational Trust General Manager.

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