The Phongola Education Centre laboratory is a resource for the 32 high schools in the area. Schools can visit the centre to conduct the experiments required by the curriculum. The experiments help learners understand Science better and do better in their examinations.
Teachers can also borrow science kits from the centre to conduct experiments in their classrooms. MIET AFRICA’s tutors and youth science facilitators also visit the schools to help them with these practicals.
The aim of MIET AFRICA’s Science and Mathematics Enhancement Programme is to increase the numbers of disadvantaged learners who qualify for tertiary-level studies in Science- and Maths-related fields. All high schools in all four education wards in the Pongola Circuit were identified as beneficiaries.
So far, the project has enjoyed some spectacular successes; so many thanks must go to the funder, the Sugar Industry Trust Fund for Education. For example, of the 32 distinctions that all the learners in the Pongola Circuit obtained in the 2012 Matric exams, 29 were achieved by learners enrolled in the project’s Saturday and holiday class extra-tuition programme. These learners were drawn from only 16 of the 32 high schools in the Circuit. But the project also aims to support all 32 high schools, for example by making science equipment available to them, so that learners have the opportunity to actually perform the practicals required of them by the curriculum.
Mandela Day at MIET AFRICA was once more an exciting day, a day of coming out of our offices and showing our solidarity with the objectives of “making our world a better place”.
Mandela Day, and what it stands for, resonates so much with what MIET AFRICA stands for. In line with MIET AFRICA’s motto – “Improving the lives of children” – the staff spent the 67 minutes visiting the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital’s children’s ward. Joining UKZN students who were already there, as well as the nurses and other staff, the staff all had a good time singing and reciting rhymes for the children, giving them gifts and playing with them. Rochelle van Graan accompanied one or two of the songs sweetly on the guitar. A charismatic Zamani Khuzwayo spoke some encouraging words – good medicine and food for the soul for all who were there.
It has been a very busy first semester in the DRC, with the process of customizing regional documents to the national context needing to be completed before the end of the current phase of CSTL. A four-day validation workshop was held from 22-25 July, during which three teams intensively scrutinized the National Support Pack, the Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Framework and Speak Out! materials. The workshop was held soon after Mme. Yenga Sako Wivine’ was appointed Focal Point Person for CSTL, to replace M. Konga Bakombo Jose’, who was on sick leave.
The workshop was graced with the presence of an advisor to the Ministry, M. Bula Bula Joseph, and M. Odon Mulanda (Director Curriculum), which confirms the importance and seriousness with which the DRC Ministry accords to CSTL and CSTL activities.
The National Coordinating Unit approved all the documents, and a the letter of approval was signed by the Focal Point Person (Ministry),
In conjunction with MIET AFRICA, the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education is implementing a school-based programme known as Speak Out!, which is now in Phase 2. (Phase 1 began in 2012 in the Chongwe District in five schools – Chinyunyu, Chongwe, Kakumba and Matipula Primary and Mukamambo Secondary.)
At a National Coordinating Unit meeting in July, the regional master trainer gave an orientation about Speak Out! Phase 2 to representatives from various stakeholders (the MoE, CAMFED, Child Fund, Faweza, REPSSI and ZOCS).
Various members of the above group (i.e. the MoE, CAMFED and REPSSI) then assisted the master trainer with the school-level training at the five schools, which was done on 17 and 18 July. The purpose of the training was to conduct a refresher session on Phase 1 and an orientation to Phase 2 with the teachers, members of the Parent Committees and community leaders of the schools,
In April, MIET AFRICA was appointed as one of three implementing partners for the FNB Primary Education Project, the other two being the Principals’ Management and Development Programme (PMDP) and the Catholic Institute of Education (CIE). Some of the schools in this project are also part of an international research project called Innovative Learning environments (ILE).
ILE is an international study organized by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), with widespread engagement by different countries, regions, and organizations. It focuses on innovative ways to organize learning for young people and on how to stimulate and support such innovation.
In June, the South Africa country team of the ILE project, coordinated by MIET AFRICA’s Lynn van der Elst, took part in a two-day workshop that focused on monitoring the project implementation “as a learning laboratory of change”. Mr Edward Mosuwe, representing the KZN Department of Education,
There have been a lot of activities in the latest phase of CSTL.
Following the sad passing of Theodora Cassamo, the Mozambique Ministry of Education (MINED) appointed another vibrant Focal Point Person, Arlindo Folige. A series of workshops were held to complete the work of customizing the National Support Pack, Conceptual Framework, MER framework and other documents to the Mozambican context.
Speak Out! Phase 2 was introduced, and has been warmly received at both national and school level. It focuses on prevention and management of sexual harassment and violence. It follows on from the great strides made in the first phase in 2012, during which people’s concerns about these issues were identified, and there was an increase in public debate about them. A number of cases were reported to the police, and through the establishment of focus groups, the schools and community have collaborated closely in the fight against this scourge.
Our CSTL programme (Care and Support for Teaching and Learning), which provides a comprehensive approach to addressing the barriers to teaching and learning that are associated with health – and poverty-related challenges, is being implemented intensively in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia.
Read the latest news articles on cstlsadc.com to find out how our Member States have incorporated CSTL into their education systems.