The dream of moulding young minds may appeal to many individuals, but the reality of their circumstances often prevents passionate people from pursuing this career path. A blended learning approach could be the solution.
According to the Department of Basic Education qualifying as a teacher in South African can only be done by following one of two routes. Individuals must either obtain a four-year Bachelor of Education degree (B.Ed.);or a three-or four-year Bachelor’s degree, followed by a one-year Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). Both routes lead to classification as a professionally qualified teacher.
There are only a handful of higher education institutions that offer the B.Ed in each Provinceand Unisa is the only national provider listed by the department.
In 2002 Unisa and the College of Cape Town (CCT) entered into an agreement which would see the birth of a blended learning approach. This approach was implemented in the B.Ed.Foundation Phase programme. The initiative has achieved great success, growing from seven students in 2002 to in excess of 146 students in 2012.
This unique programme which combines distance learning with elements of lecture-style learning distinguishes it from traditional university courses.
During the course students submit assignments and tasks to Unisa, however they will also be expected to attend classroom lectures every second Saturday at the College of Cape Town where they will receive mentoring from competent trainers.
In this way students receive the flexibility of a distance learning programme while enjoying the personal interaction associated with conventional university courses.
This method of learning suits students who live in rural areas with limited access to transport or who don’t have the time or money to engage in full time studies.
Selected students will obtain dual registration with Unisa and the College of Cape Town in order to be eligible for both services.
Commenting on whether the education and training industry would move toward a more digital focus in order to broaden accessibility CCT CEO Jannie Isaacs said; “there will always be a need for face-to-face interaction”. Through this programme Unisa and CCT have sought to address this need.
The co-operative agreement was partially formed to strengthen partnerships between Western Cape training providers with the aim of improving skills development in the Province.
Prospective students may consult with College of Cape Town at tel. 021 461 9418 or visit the College of Cape Town website www.cct.edu.za for more information on the programme.
By Cindy Payle - Skills Portal