Student teachers seize opportunity

2017-01-25 06:03
A group of students enrolled for the Advanced Certificate in Teaching at the University of the Free State. Photo: Supplied

A group of students enrolled for the Advanced Certificate in Teaching at the University of the Free State. Photo: Supplied

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Recently South Africa’s Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, emphasised the need for large-scale, collaborative and substantive change to consistently provide equal, quality and inclusive life-long learning opportunities for all learners across every school in South Africa.

It is exactly that kind of change that the University of the Free State (UFS) is committed to facilitating. With over 12 million learners in South African schools and 380 000 teachers in South Africa – and the progress being made in strengthening South Africa’s wireless infrastructure – the UFS is embracing the challenge of transforming education beyond the model that was established centuries ago in the absence of technology and today’s tools.

The UFS South Campus, located in Bloemfontein, is the very first campus to provide an entirely online Advanced Certificate in Teaching (Act) programme for teachers, thereby significantly addressing long-standing educational, economic and political needs.

The Act online programme addresses the requirement for a teaching and learning pathway for teachers wanting to advance in their careers. This qualification has a specific aim to improve teachers’ knowledge and competencies towards a new subject, or strengthen their subject specialisation. Furthermore, the Act programme can play an important role in improving the quality of education and in that way the quality of life of many South Africans.

The Act programme will not only upgrade the qualification of those teachers who are currently employed without adequate training, but it also offers specialist education to those teachers who need to strengthen their subject specialisation knowledge base.

The qualification also aims to provide retraining to teachers who wish to change their career path, thus widening the pool of teachers who are able to teach different subjects.

There are numerous advantages to the Act online programme for teachers, some of which include: it offers students the opportunity to study in their own time and at their place and own pace; it presents an outstanding opportunity to conveniently and affordably advance in higher education and achieve professional qualifications; it is a brilliant solution for adult working students who cannot easily access traditional on-campus or blended learning programmes; it will help accelerate the pace at which South Africa’s teachers earn this important qualification; it is making learning more convenient for working teachers by decreasing travel requirements and it assesses students’ ability to apply new skills and knowledge in a practical way that can be applied in the classroom.

The starting dates for the Act programme for 2017 are 13 March, 8 May, 3 July, 28 August and 23 October. For more information, send an email to online@ufs.ac.za or send an SMS or WhatsApp to 082-548-2493.

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