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UWC launches five new school science labs

UWC's Science Learning Centres for Africa (UWC-SLCA), in partnership with the Garden Cities Archway Foundation and the Western Cape Education Department, will open five new Science Learning Centres to support hands-on science teaching and learning at schools in the greater Cape Town area on Tuesday, 21 February 2017.
© Cathy Yeulet – 123RF.com
The UWC Rector and Vice-Chancellor Professor Tyrone Pretorius, Garden Cities Archway Foundation Chairperson Myrtle February, and principals of the respective schools will open five new UWC Science Learning Centres (SLCs) at the following schools:
  1. Ocean View High School, Ocean View
  2. York Road Primary School, Lansdowne
  3. Spes Bona High School, Athlone
  4. Phakama high School, Phillipi
  5. Manzomthombo High School, Mfuleni
These five schools will bring the total to 45 SLCs constructed, with a further three to be opened soon.

The construction of these science learning centres is an extension of the curriculum support provided by UWC-SLCA, and serves as reward for committed science teachers, school management and learners.

In 2011 UWC-SLCA in partnership with Garden Cities Archway Foundation started the construction of science laboratories (UWC Science Learning Centres) at Western Cape schools. The Western Cape Education Department joined the partnership in 2016, and contributes one-third of the costs associated with the SLCs.

The achievement of learners and teachers in national and international benchmark tests paints a very bleak picture - one that highlights a national crisis. To address this need, the Science Learning Centre for Africa in UWC’s Faculty of Education has introduced a number of far-reaching support programmes to improve the teaching and learning of science and mathematics.

According to Prof Shaheed Hartley, Director of UWC-SLCA: “We have to start with the basics: supporting teachers to develop the confidence to teach science with an advanced level of understanding, knowledge and teaching skills. Similarly we have to be creative in providing learners with opportunities that will draw their interest and willingness to learn. Developing a culture of science teaching and learning will be a good start to improve NSC and other assessments.”

To facilitate this process, UWC-SLCA has teamed up with corporate organisations to improve the infrastructure in which these gateway subjects are taught, providing a creative space in which the teachers’ and learners’ interaction with science and technology can be advanced.

Organisations and funders that want to play a part in this initiative are encouraged to make contact with the Director of UWC-SLCA, Prof Shaheed Hartley via email at az.ca.cwu@acls or on +27 (0)21 959 2680.
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