College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences

Mandlethu School Project

The Department of Agriculture and Animal Health has been involved with a registered Community Engagement project at the Mandlethu FET School in Vlaglaagte Location 1, Mpumalanga since 2009.

The project is now in Phase 3. Phase 1 and 2 addressed the improvement of Agriculture teaching and learning. Phase 3 is currently addressing the improvement of 5 other science subjects (Mathematics, Math Literacy, Life Science, Physical Sciences and Geography in 2012 in collaboration with the College of Education (Further Teacher education) at Unisa.

The goal of the project is capacity building of science teaching and learning in order to improve pass rates of science subjects and to increase the enrolment of school leavers into science disciplines in tertiary institutions. It is hoped that ultimately it will assist in alleviating science skills shortages in South Africa.

The specific aims of Phase 1 and 2 were:

  • To transfer knowledge and skills to educators of Agricultural Science through workshops, demonstrations and mentoring.
  • To encourage the educator for agriculture science to improve her qualifications by enrolling for Diploma in Agricultural Management at Unisa.
  • To support the educator for Agricultural Science by providing extra teaching capacity to enable the educator to attend workshops and mentoring exercises.
  • To stimulate the interest of learners in Agriculture and related science subjects so that they may have a desire to make this field a career of choice.
  • To increase research capacity of Unisa staff through publications.

The specific aims of Phase 3 are:

  • To transfer scientific knowledge and skills to educators of 6 science subjects (Life Science, Physical Science, Mathematics, Maths Literacy, Agriculture and Geography) through demonstrations and mentoring.
  • To assess the school community (learners, educators, school management and school governing body).
  • To recommend remedial measures.
  • To implement remedial measures.
  • To monitor and evaluate the impact of all remedial measures on science educators and learners.
  • To increase research capacity of Unisa staff through publications.

Expected outcomes

  • Improved knowledge and teaching skills for School educators.
  • Improved performance of Matric learners.
  • Improved overall performance of the whole school.
  • Increased number of numbers willing to study science subjects.
  • Increased enrolment at the school.
  • Change of attitude towards the teaching and learning of science subjects in rural schools and the retention of learners.

Achievements of Phases 1 and 2

  • The intervention in the teaching and learning of agriculture has generated a lot of interest in agriculture subject in particular and in science subjects by association.
  • Mandlethu FET School has become a school of choice because of its association with UNISA and the attention it has received.
  • More parents have become more active in school activities in support of their children's education.
  • More girls than boys are now enrolled at the school.

Last modified: Sun Oct 09 08:56:12 SAST 2016