College of Education

Tateni success story continues

On 11 January 2019, Tateni - a community engagement project in the Department of Psychology of Education in Unisa’s College of Education (CEDU) - hosted an out-of-school youth and new matric student workshop at the Vlakfontein Secondary School in Mamelodi.

Dr Rumodungoane Tabane and Raesibe Matome

Raesibe Matome of CEDU’s student support section presented opportunities offered by Unisa to the audience. In attendance also was Rejoice Matlhola of the Gauteng Department of Basic Education, who spoke to learners about second chance programmes offered by the Department of Education. An NGO called Pop-up presented alternative free skills training opportunities to the out-of-school youth. Charles Baloyi, Chairperson of the Board of Tateni, was the master of ceremonies.

Tateni is aimed at breaking the cycle of poverty. The project team comprises Mina Methi, Deliwe Kumalo and Beverley Feldman. The project has a close working relationship with schools in Mamelodi and, in collaboration with IKAMVA youth projects, offers extra tuition classes throughout the year.

According to the project leader, Prof Ramodungoane Tabane, the project has developed since its inception in 2013 to being one of the key projects in CEDU. The project has established itself as a collaboration partner with various stakeholders such as the Department of Public Works where psychological support and Maths and Science winter classes are provided to Grades 10 to 12 learners, culminating in a Built Environment Bursary worth R150 000 to deserving learners from disadvantaged schools from all provinces.

In January 2019, a total of 40 bursaries were awarded in Mhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal. Brenda Mdluli from Mamelodi East and a learner from Mamelodi Secondary School, received R150 000 to study Landscape Architecture in 2019. During her speech, Brenda expressed her gratitude to the Tateni project and used the opportunity to encourage other learners to study smart and with a specific goal in mind. "I am no different to any of you," she said, "I just studied hard and with a purpose. It is doable and I am extremely excited about the journey on which I am embarking."

Some of the learners attending the workshop

A 2016 bursary recipient, Adolph Mabasa, was also present at the event. Mabasa is now a final-year Mechanical Engineering student.

Other collaborations with Tateni include the Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) project run with Prof Awelani Mudau in the Science Department. Prof Rebotile Machaisa in the Education and Management Department is responsible for school management team training. Itumeleng Dube, Sizile Makola and Phumeza Saliwe in the College of Economics and Management Sciences collaborate with Tateni and are involved throughout the programme on various levels at the winter camps and in other activities.

Tateni has also adopted Maxwele Secondary School in Umtata. This partnership contributed to the facilitation and finalisation of a donation of a portion of land by the community for the new Unisa Umtata regional offices. The land was officially handed to Unisa at a ceremony on 16 August 2018.

* By Edgar Rathelele

Publish date: 2019/01/23