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UWC boosts science and mathematics teaching

On Monday, 2 September 2013, the Rector of the University of the Western Cape, Prof. Brian O'Connell and director of the Garden Cities Archway Foundation, Myrtle February opened four brand new UWC Science Learning Centres at schools in the Mitchells Plain area, namely Westridge High, Lentegeur High, Zisukhanyo High and Princeton High.
UWC boosts science and mathematics teaching

he UWC Science Learning Centre for Africa (UWC-SLCA) in the Faculty of Education, in collaboration with Garden Cities Archway Foundation, has constructed Science Laboratories called UWC Science Learning Centres at Western Cape Schools in support of science and mathematics educators and learners. This will bring the total to 16 laboratories constructed in this partnership over the past two years, with a further five planned for 2013.

UWC-SLCA is engaged in the development, training and support of educators and learners in science and mathematics education.

According to the director of the SLCA, Prof Shaheed Hartley, "The UWC-SLCA in its endeavour to provide sustainable programmes to improve teaching and learning at both primary and secondary level, has over a number of years developed and refined an implementation model that has proved successful in both rural and peri-urban schools. The construction of the science learning centres is an extension of this support provided by UWC-SLCA and serve as reward for committed science teachers, school management and learners."

The achievement of learners in national and international benchmark tests together with the results achieved by teachers in similar tests, paints a very bleak picture and one that highlights a national crisis.

According to Prof Hartley we have to start with the basics, supporting teachers, to regain confidence to teach science from 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 amongst science educators and a culture of science learning for learners will be a good start to improve NSC and other achievements.

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