A new teachers’ school, the Two Oceans Graduate Institute (Togi), was launched in Pinelands on Saturday 26 August. The launch was made possible in a partnership between Old Mutual Alternative Investments and the Two Oceans Education Foundation. The college has been operating since July this year.The institution is now open to anyone who would like to apply to study a four-year Bachelor degree in Intermediate Phase Education. It is reportedly a response to the shortage in teaching schools in South Africa. Ashra Norton, Togi director, says: “Public institutions in the Western Cape cannot fulfil adequately in the demand for enrolment for teacher training. Hundreds of applicants each year at public institutions are turned down. Set up in response to acute education infrastructure shortages in South Africa, the Schools Investment Fund works in partnership with education operators, such as the Two Oceans Education Foundation, to improve access and quality of education for children of disadvantaged communities and to provide affordable independent schooling. “Our intention is to add more degree and higher education courses to our tertiary education offering to better allow us to effect positive change in this beautiful country. We firmly believe that the power of education to shape the minds and hearts of our young people, and provide our children from less privileged communities with real opportunities to excel in their lives, is vital to the future development of South Africa.”She says the institute has received tremendous response from schools and communities in the province and will accommodate about 300 students a year. She says they accept applicants of all ages with matric certificates.It has two intakes a year – the first one was in July and the second one will be in January next year. Education expert Prof Jonathan Jansen said in his speech at the launch that teaching was an important profession. He advised Togi to accept only those students who had a passion for teaching because they were likely to produce quality results in the field. “Because if they don’t have a passion for teaching, then you will not produce quality teachers,” he said.One of the Togi students, Gasat Albertyn, says the classes offered are “amazing”. “This institution has very enlightening lessons and it is well equipped. Within this short period it has taught me many things about the field and fulfils my passion for working with children.“Though I have been teaching for years I have not seen such an educational and uplifting institution,” says Albertyn.