Opening ceremony and lectures
The Deputy Minister of Education, Mr Mosibudi Mangena, opened the
Autumn Clinic for Science and Mathematics educators on 2 April.
His keynote address set the tone for the conference, detailing the objectives
of the strategy for Science and Mathematics Education, role and expectations
of the 102 dedicated schools in improving the performance of learners.
This will ensure that South African learners are provided with a sound footing
that will enable them to interact confidently with the world.
Deputy Minister Mangena highlighted the historic nature of the gathering
within the context of the strategy and the main objectives of raising
participation and performance, providing high-quality Science and
Mathematics instruction and improving the human resource capacity enabling
teachers to deliver this quality and standard.
Also present were luminaries such as Professor T.W. Kambule, who shared
valuable lessons and insights on teaching in a way that is accessible to
learners, gleaned during a teaching career spanning five decades.
He closed his presentation by saying: “Let the learners love you and t
hey will love Maths, you have to be welcome in their class, they must
not tolerate you.”
Other presentations dealt with the challenges that face South African
Mr Mphahlele provided a detailed description of The Current Status of
participation and performance in Mathematics and Physical Science.
His presentation dealt with the statistics representing the level of
uptake of Science and Mathematics at Standard and Higher Grade in
South African secondary schools, and the success rate that these schools
have demonstrated in recent years.
Mr Lehokos presentation was on Leading and Managing Change in Education.
This was followed by a presentation by the Chief Director, Mr Ndhlovu,
of a proposed Memorandum of Agreement between the 102 Dedicated Schools
and Provincial MECs highlighting the support and resources that the
Department of Education would provide to ensure the schools ability to
meet the targets and the schools delivery towards meeting these targets.
The SHOMA Dinner
Day 1 ended with a gastronomic finale at the SHOMA dinner held
for for Autumn Clinic participants. The SHOMA Foundation, a Multichoice
subsidiary, focuses on providing teacher training to educators in
remote areas through the use of satellite technology. Their
contribution to the Autumn Clinic was a sponsored dinner at
which Multichoice made a generous donation of 102 decoders to
the Dedicated Schools for Science and Mathematics education.
They also captured the entire Clinic on video footage, which will
be distributed to their satellite locations so that teachers who
could not attend the Clinic will be able to share in the learning
that took place during the week.
Parallel Session Workshops
The remaining days of the Clinic were dedicated to parallel sessions,
which took the form of workshops. During these sessions, Science
and Mathematics educators were separated into subject groupings,
where facilitators focused delegates’ attention on complex and c
hallenging areas of subject knowledge. They engaged in practical
exercises and had the opportunity to deepen their understanding, to
better enable them to teach the content to learners. On the evening
of Wednesday, 3 April, the educators from the US – who attended courtesy o
f First African in Space, gave a presentation on how they had integrated
the theme of Space into the US Education Curriculum to facilitate an
understanding of Scientific and Mathematical concepts.
Dr David Molapo of the I Can Foundation delivered an inspirational speech
on the evening of 4 April, which preceded a farewell braai
complete with a jazz band to entertain delegates and guests of Dinaledi.
The focus, on Friday 5 April, was on building a community where
collaboration and sharing of ideas and resources takes place among
the 102 schools. The day was opened with a presentation and plenary
discussion about Common Exam Preparation and Assessment. The Clinic
was brought to a close with Mr Mphahlele making a presentation on the
lessons learnt during the course of the week and the recommendations
Ravi Naidoo, Managing Director of Interactive Africa project managers
for the First African in Space project, enthralled the audience with a
multimedia presentation. During his presentation, Ravi described how
the First African in Space project is using various media to speak to
teenage learners in their lingo and communicate the message of Science
and Mathematics education to the youth.
Congratulations and Farewells
The Minister of Education, Professor Kader Asmal closed the Autumn
Clinic with a message reflecting on the importance of providing young
learners with the opportunity to be stars and shine. He added that
translating this enthusiasm and excitement for Science and Mathematics
education to learners was particularly relevant within the South African
context, where Science and Mathematics had been regarded as being beyond
the abilities of ordinary people and deliberately neglected. The current
strategy is one of the government’s efforts at reversing the effects o
f detrimental policies of the past by instilling self-confidence in
learners, particularly those previously excluded from government support
The Deputy Director-General closed proceedings with a Vote of Thanks,
extended to all who had contributed to the success of the First Autumn
Clinic for Science and Mathematics Edcuators. As delegates rose from
their seats to collect their belongings and say their goodbyes, the John
Maree Auditorium was filled with the voices of over 300 delegates as they
sang the South African National Anthem.
Autumn Clinic Sponsors
SHOMA Foundation, Multichoice
First African in Space
US Agency for International Development
SHOMA Foundation, Multichoice
First African in Space
Space Center Houston
Africa Scientific Instrumentation
A few comments from delegates
- "Bringing the 102 schools together was a brilliant idea.
Knowing and meeting each other is very important, sharing
frustrations and success was very motivating"
- "I listened to powerful speeches by speakers like Lehoko,
Kambule, Molapo for the first time in my life"
- "It was really a clinic because they (speakers,
facilitators) refreshed our minds"
- "It is the first time teachers on the ground come
to discuss problems which they encounter in class situations
with the highest people in education"
- "It was a real eye-opener for me in terms of the commitment
of stakeholders involved on this project. This gave me a lot
of motivation and determination to make my contribution a