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16 March 2015
UWC Confers Eastern Cape Science Teachers

UWC Confers  Eastern Cape Science Teachers

In response to the dire shortage of skilled mathematics and science teachers in South Africa, on Monday, 16 March 2015 the University of the Western Cape (UWC) conferred postgraduate degrees to scores of educators from disadvantaged communities.

28 teachers from all over the Eastern Cape Province will graduate with their Honours Degrees in education (BEd Hons) during the University’s two week Summer Graduation ceremonies, in which more than 3,500 UWC students are graduating.

Of these 28, about twenty students have registered for masters degree in science education with research projects directed at improving science education in the Eastern Cape.

The educators were part of the original 42 teachers who obtained their Advanced Certificate in Education (ACE) in 2012 as part of the Science Learning Centre for Africa at UWC’s (UWC-SLCA) initiative to train maths and science educators.

UWC-SLCA is an outreach centre for the support and development of science and mathematics education. The Centre, in 2010, was requested to conduct the ACE programme as part of a Further Education and Training initiative in science education for 50 science educators from the Eastern Cape. UWC-SLCA staff travelled to the Eastern Cape, where contact sessions were conducted with participants at Trinset in 2010 and 2011.

Lectures commenced from 08h30 to 17h00 and continued from 19:00 to 21:00. The Director of UWC-SLCA, Professor Shaheed Hartley, and his team worked tirelessly to ensure that the teachers from the Eastern Cape made it to graduation.

Prof Hartley said: “It is a good feeling knowing that you can add value to other people's lives, especially where the professional development in science education is concerned.

“It was good to see them walk across the podium and I think the one thing that stood out for me is seeing people coming to the graduation ceremony all the way from the Eastern Cape. I am extremely proud of those who registered to do their masters in Science Education,” he concluded.

Additionally, UWC-SLCA has already established science clubs at a number of schools across the Eastern Cape which aim at getting learners involved in the science competitions of the SLCA, and with that schools can stand chances of getting science labs.

The UWC-SLCA also plans to build state-of-the-art science learning centres at schools in the Eastern Cape to improve the culture of teaching science and mathematics.