Unisa, in collaboration with the Department of Education: Libode District, recently held a Life Orientation Teachers Workshop in Libode outside Mthatha, Eastern Cape. The primary objective of the workshop was to familiarise LO educators with the Open Distance Learning (ODL) model, equip them with career guidance skills, encourage them to further their studies within the teaching field and expose them to current market trends in terms of National skills that are scarce. The workshop attracted more than 103 teachers from Libode led by the District Director, Dr AS Nuku, who is a Unisa graduate.
Unisa as an ODL institution
Unisa Eastern Cape Regional Manager, Mr MJ Nkgoang focused on Open Distance Learning as a way of studying for a formal qualification at Unisa and highlighted the benefits of ODL which include amongst others, accessibility and flexibility. He also hinted that a Unisa student has to be disciplined, motivated and dedicated to ensure success in studies.
Innovation in teaching
College of Education lecturer, Mark van Heerden, and Academic Coordinator, Mrs Tumi Holomisa from the Mthata office, with Mrs Makhanya’s assistance, facilitated an HIV-AIDS transmission simulation hands-on activity. By making use of recycled materials and a cross-curricular approach, LO teachers learnt how to make teaching and learning more interesting and relevant.
Teaching and understanding Generation Y
A message that came through strongly at the workshop was that the only way to teach Generation Y learners, a cohort of learners in the classroom and students in university today, is to lead them by example. Mrs Mandu Makhanya from Unisa Student Counselling and Career Development called on teachers to understand the character and circumstances of a learner in order to assist them to excel in their studies. Mrs Makhanya urged teachers to treat pupils with care and emphasised that the learner of today needs to be understood, accepted, respected and included in the process of learning and teaching.
Ms Ntandokazi Mntuedwa from the Department of Labour and Mr Xolani Gobelo from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme also made presentations at the workshop.
*Story compiled by Achieve Ubisi and S-M Setlatjile