Eight students from the School of Education are part of an eight-day Study Tour for Teachers in Training programme taking place in Berlin at the end of August.
The students will attend classes, visit German schools, participate in a teacher conference and experience the country’s culture, lifestyle and university structure. They will be based at Entwicklungspolitisches Bildungs-und Informationszentrum EPIZ e.V. Center for Global Education, in Berlin.
Accompanying them is UKZN lecturer, Dr Angela James, who spearheaded the exchange programme: Study Tour for Teachers in Training.
The focus of the tour is school development in the context of Education for Sustainability (ESD)/ Global Education, an exchange about projects/initiatives and the Teaching of ESD in South Africa and Germany.
The programme will include information about UKZN; Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA); Berlin Development Education and Information Centre (EPIZ) organisation; Berlin Department of Education and the context of their work; learning about teaching practice through school visits; and an exchange of ideas and experience with teacher trainees in Berlin.
EPIZ is organising the tour- including the funding for the South Africa contingent- in cooperation with the Berlin Department of Education
According to Dr James, the benefit for the UKZN students (and for the German participants) will be getting to know about the implementation, approaches, methods, projects, national and regional processes of ESD; establishing contact with teachers, schools, NGOs and strategic partners for school exchanges and /or international projects, as well as finding ideas for future collaboration based on needs, wishes and trust.
The chosen students underwent a rigorous screening and selection process based on their academic performance and community engagement initiatives in their communities and on campus.
Third year student, Mr Samkelo Mhlophe, is thrilled to be on the tour and representing the University. ‘I will engage with the German participants on African Culture, our schooling system and research opportunities. This also gives us a chance to network, and develop friendships.’
‘Excel in whatever you do,’ advised fourth-year student, Ms Phakamile Mazibuko. ‘Grab every opportunity you get. Develop yourself as a student, work hard and be agents of change in society’, she said.
Professor Thabo Msibi, The Dean and Head of the School, congratulated the students on their achievement saying, ‘You epitomise the very greatness that the University aims for. Well done to you all.’
Dr James said the aim is to continue the project after 2018 and to establish a long-term partnership.
Photographer: Melissa Mungroo