Making a difference

After visiting the Rhodes campus in December 2014, Ms Dimitra David donated a generous 25 000 euros to the Education Department. “I am deeply appreciative of your interest in, and recognition of, the primary importance of education, especially in South Africa where the legacy of an unequal and divided past is still with us today,” said Professor Di Wilmot, the Dean of Education. “The need for redress, equity and social justice, and a commitment to providing quality teacher education, drives our work in the Education Department at Rhodes.”

Ms David’s contribution will go towards refurbishing the Education Department’s Resource Centre as a Teaching Innovation Studio for pre- service and in-service teachers to model new technologies and teaching methods, engage in creative and critical thinking and cultivate confidence and enhanced self esteem in the profession of teaching.

This facility will enhance the experience of the students enrolled in the Post Graduate Certificate in Education as well as the Bachelor of Education (Foundation Phase) degree, both of which aim to contribute to the provision of quality teaching and a better future for children in South Africa.

The BEd will address the critical need for African mother-tongue teachers who can teach young children in isiXhosa. With the help of state bursaries, Rhodes has enrolled some 45 students, the majority of which come from socio-economically disadvantaged homes.

Future plans include approaching an IT business about supporting the facility with iPads and tablets to model the use of ICT in schooling, and the installation of a large screen and fast internet facilities to model video conferencing with teachers and classes in other parts of the world. We look forward to seeing the results of this project in the near future.