Shared learning in Southern AfricaDate Released: Fri, 20 September 2013 14:51 +0200
By Annetjie van Wynegaard
Journalism and media studies lecturers from Rhodes University will exchange visits with Mozambican academics over the next 12 months as part of a project intended to enhance the journalism teaching at the Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo.
The exchanges are part of a five-year collaboration between the Rhodes School of Journalism and Media Studies (JMS) and the Journalism Department at the UEM’s Escola de Comunicação e Artes (ECA).
This partnership has been facilitated by the International Research Exchanges Board (IREX) which is implementing a large scale five-year Media Strengthening Programme in Mozambique funded by US Agency for International Development (USAID).
The first year of the project was dedicated to building relationships between JMS and ECA and developing an overall framework to guide future engagements between the two institutions over the next five years.
The first year of the collaboration concluded recently with a visit to ECA by Head of School Prof Larry Strelitz and Curriculum Forum chair Dr Jeanne du Toit. During the visit Strelitz and Du Toit presented a plan for the way forward developed by a JMS steering committee and worked with both ECA journalism lecturers and IREX staff to fine-tune this plan.
The project aims to enhance journalism teaching and curriculum development at ECA, but Du Toit stressed that teachers from both institutions would benefit from jointly exploring how the local context in which stories are produced shapes the way in journalism is taught.
“There is a magic that can emerge from going into each other’s space and experiencing each other’s environments,” Du Toit said. “Journalism does not exist separately from your world.”
In February next year ECA teachers will visit JMS to observe courses and teaching methods and to discuss their own teaching concerns with JMS staff. Then in April and March JMS teachers will return the visit to work alongside the ECA staff in planning and teaching courses.
Strelitz said that every year of the project will focus on a different priority area that will be agreed between the JMS and ECA. The focus for the next twelve months will be on broadcast journalism, he said.
In September next year a group of ECA representatives will attend the annual Highway Africa conference and spend time in Grahamstown with JMS staff reviewing the achievements from the previous year and setting the agenda for the year to come.
Commenting on the School’s involvement with the project, Strelitz said: “We thought it would be really important to work with other journalism and media studies departments in Southern Africa.”
Read stories (in Portuguese) from members of the ECA in the Rhodes Journalism Review.
Photograph supplied by IREX
Two heads are better than one… Rhodes University School of Journalism and Media Studies head Larry Strelitz (left) discusses ways of enhancing journalism education with
Pascal Nkula, head of journalism at the Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique.