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Emotional safety during examinations

Mid-year exams have begun and with crunch time comes emotional upheaval. However, it is manageable and should not deter you from the end-goal of succeeding in your studies while maintaining high mental health standards.

“The exam period is a time when stress and anxiety levels are higher than usual. Stress can be positive and help you stay motivated and focused. However, too much stress can be unhelpful and can make you feel overwhelmed, confused, exhausted and edgy,” says Dr Melissa Barnaschone, Director of Student Counselling and Development at the University of the Free State (UFS).

According to Helpguide.Org: Trusted guide to mental & emotional health, “Mental and emotional health is about being happy, self-confident, self-aware, and resilient. People who are mentally healthy are able to cope with life’s challenges and recover from setbacks. But mental and emotional health requires knowledge, understanding, and effort to maintain. If your mental health isn’t as solid as you’d like it to be, here’s the good news: there are many things you can do to boost your mood, build resilience, and get more enjoyment out of life.”

For further details on topics including: Building Better Mental Health, Emotional Intelligence Toolkit, Benefits of Mindfulness, Improving Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Cultivating Happiness, visit the Help Guide. 

Dr Barnaschone has a few tips on how Kovsies can better approach academic anxiety during the examination period. Here is what she has to say:

News Archive

UFS awarded tenders worth R22,5 million for Maths and Science teacher-training
2010-03-17

The Centre for Education Development (CED) at the University of the Free State (UFS) has received tenders worth about R22,5 million over the past two years from four provinces to train Mathematics and Science teachers from underperforming schools.

The CED has received tenders from the following provincial departments of education: Free State, Northern Cape, North West and Mpumalanga.

“The centre has a good reputation for the training of teachers in these disciplines and has been involved with the upgrading of Maths and Science teachers for at least 15 years,” said Prof. Daniella Coetzee, Director of the CED.

It is currently busy with the training of North West teachers after being awarded a R13,5 million tender by the Province as part of its quest to improve pass rates in Mathematics and Natural and Physical Sciences in underperforming schools.

“The tender is for the upgrading of the knowledge and methodology of teachers for Mathematics and Natural and Physical Science, as well as the upgrading of the knowledge of subject specialists in the North West Province,” said Prof. Coetzee.

For this project the centre trains 1 000 teachers and 90 subject specialists from underperforming schools over a period of three years.

The programme commenced in February this year with a baseline assessment of the teachers to determine knowledge and methodology gaps upon which to focus in the training.

“After the programme has been completed we will also do a post-assessment to see if there had been progress,” she said.

The training is offered only on Saturdays at Vryburg, Klerksdorp, Makapanstad, Brits and Zeerust and is presented by lecturers from the CED as well as selected and trained tutors from the North West province.

“We have successfully completed another Maths, Science and Technology project for the North West Department of Education. We have also completed similar projects for the Northern Cape and one for the Free State Department of Education,” she said.

These completed projects entailed formal qualifications (Advanced Certificate in Education) in Maths, Science and Technology and were worth in excess of R5 million.

The CED has just been recently awarded yet another tender in excess of R4 million over a period of two years by the Mpumalanga Department of Education.

Prof. Coetzee had the following to say about the CED being the preferred choice of these provincial Departments of Education: “It has to do with the fact that the CED has been performing well with the upgrading of teachers. It has proven itself as a leader in the in-service training of Maths and Science teachers in South Africa.”

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za  
17 March 2010

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