Juniper Networks Foundation Fund Supports Mathematical Education Development Program in South Africa
Hundreds of Schools to Receive Access to National Scheme
SUNNYVALE, Calif.- Juniper Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: JNPR), the leader in high-performance networking, today announced the Juniper Networks Foundation Fund (JNFF) is donating funds to support a learning program provided by MathsAce, with whom it is partnering to sponsor an educational development program in South Africa. The funds will be donated to Visionaries in Africa Foundation, a not-for-profit organization. Initially, the project is intended to support approximately 30 disadvantaged schools, with an intention to build on the first phase to include additional schools in the future. MathsAce is a structured learning program designed to complement existing mathematics teaching in disadvantaged schools throughout the country. Juniper employees in the area will also provide local support by giving spare time to the program on an ongoing basis.
Through their partnership, Juniper Networks and MathsAce are committed to the principles of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-B BEE) legislation in South Africa. The joint education initiative is designed to redress the shortfall in black education and commercial opportunities. MathsAce is a mentor-driven program that includes online learning facilities. Students have their existing capabilities assessed at the outset, and then pursue a structured, tailored program to strengthen a wide range of mathematical skills with particular focus on areas of weakness. During coursework, each student undertakes ongoing assessment and examination practice, enabling them to progress to higher standards and better examination results, at their own pace.
“During a recent visit to Eqinisweni School in Johannesburg, I was able to see first-hand the good that MathsAce can do,” said Gert-Jan Schenk, senior vice president of operations EMEA, Juniper Networks. “Just a few minutes of the program placed in the students’ timetable every day enables them to develop a solid grounding in mathematics, which will lead to better qualifications and greater employment opportunities in the long term. It is a very simple idea, but is perfectly designed to meet a desperate need -- Juniper Networks is very happy to be able to help out financially and practically.”
MathsAce was established in 1994, and aims to bring 50-100 new schools into the program every month. Each participating school is carefully qualified, to identify its specific needs and challenges, and then licensed. A “School’s Champion” is trained, to act as a liaison point between students, teachers and the MathsAce team. The funding and other resources from Juniper Networks is planned to enable licenses for multiple schools by the end of 2008, and will also support the training of School’s Champions for each participant and the ensuing MathsAce implementation and measurement process.
“The beauty of MathsAce is that it helps individual students to improve their skills and qualifications, but it is also furthering the economic strength of South Africa too,” said Inthiaz Cassimjee, Executive Director of MathsAce. “Better homegrown talent will reduce the reliance on expatriate employees in the future. Support from the commercial sector is a vital ingredient in MathsAce, and we are pleased that Juniper Networks is investing in a pool of talent that it will one day be able to dip into for employees in South Africa.”
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