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A Strategic Maths and Science Education Initiative at the Qwaqwa Campus
2009-11-17

Representatives of the Natural and Agricultural Sciences and Education Faculties as well as the Qwaqwa Campus Management recently convened a workshop on a strategic new Maths and Science Education Initiative to be offered from the Qwaqwa Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS). The two faculties have agreed to partner in order to offer programmes that will contribute to the development of well-qualified Maths and Science teachers and the improvement of Maths and Science education in local schools.

The programme will be based on a strong research foundation and will also involve extensive partnerships with schools in the Qwaqwa region. Amongst others, the initiative will include the possible introduction of a new programme specifically targeting prospective Maths and Science teachers, as well as the development of modules that focus on the critical content that needs to be covered in the curriculum at Grades 10 to 12.

The initiative emerges against a background of major shortages in science and technology skills in the country, poor performance in Maths and Science in South African schools, a lack of resources such as laboratories in schools, concerns about the content knowledge of qualified teachers and the high demand for Maths and Science teachers, together with very small numbers actually qualifying in these areas. A committee with representatives from both faculties as well as representatives from the Qwaqwa and Main Campuses has been formed to take the planning for this initiative forward. A full business plan is due to be completed in early 2010.

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