Science centres for schools
THE University of Western Cape (UWC) along with Garden Cities Archway Foundation, will open three more newly constructed science centres at schools soon in an effort to improve teaching and learning of science and mathematics.
The initiative by UWC in partnership with foundation and the education department, started the project to construct science laboratories called UWC science learning centres (SLCs) at schools. Each partner contributes one-third of the costs associated with the SLCs.
The rector of the UWC, Tyrone Pretorius, member of the Board Garden Cities NPC, Jannie Isaacs, and principals of the respective schools, opened three new UWC Science Learning Centres at schools in the greater Cape Town area this week.
The schools are McGregor Primary, Welteverede Primary, Rawsonville and Charleston Hill high schools in Paarl.
The achievement of pupils and teachers in national and international benchmark tests painted a very bleak picture and one that highlighted a national crisis, Prof Shaheed Hartley, from the UWC, said.
“We have to start with the basics in terms of supporting teachers to have the confidence to teach science with an advanced level of understanding, knowledge and teaching skills,” Hartley said.
“Similarly, we have to be creative in providing pupils with opportunities that will draw their interest and willingness to learn.
“Hence, developing a culture of science teaching and learning will be a good start to improve NSC and other assessments. Certainly, having a confident and knowledgeable teacher in a conducive environment provided by the centres is a step in the right direction.”
The construction of the centres was an extension of the curriculum support provided by UWC-SLCA and served as reward for committed teachers, school management and pupils. The new centres will bring the total to 48 SLCs constructed.
The Science Learning Centre for Africa of the University of the Western Cape (UWC-SLCA) initiative has won a number of awards for its far-reaching support programmes to improve the teaching and learning of science and mathematics.
In order to facilitate this process it has teamed up with corporate organisations to improve the infrastructure in which these gateway subjects are taught so as to provide a creative space in which teachers and pupils’ interaction with science and technology can be advanced.
Organisations and funders who want to contribute to this exciting initiative are encouraged to make contact with the director of UWC-SLCA, Hartley on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 021 959 2680.