Mom and Two Daughters Graduate Together
It was smiles and excitement all round as a mother and her two daughters received master’s degrees from UKZN.
Mrs Dorah Mutula graduated with her Master’s in Adult Education, while her daughter Barbara earned a Master’s in Educational Psychology and Katie a Master’s in Economics degree.
‘I am so proud to be graduating with Barbara and Katie,’ said Mutula. ‘There is no age when it comes to learning. My daughters gave me encouragement, especially Barbara - she was my tutor, edited my work and just made things easy when it got hard.
‘She helped me find necessary articles and this was really a blessing. Katie prayed with me and for me which kept my faith and all these things helped me enormously in my studies.’
Barbara, a Research intern at UKZN’s Teaching and Learning Office, believes a good support system is important throughout the research process. ‘My family and friends were very supportive. We were going through the same experience and we would feed off of each other for motivation. Just having them around enabled me to push forward and complete my degree.’
Barbara’s fiancé, Mr Martin Kabange, also graduated with a Master’s in Economics degree.
Said Mutula: ‘My research topic is a case study of the Endleleni Adult Education Centre and how it relates to the community in Madadeni, KwaZulu-Natal. The purpose of this study was to establish the factors that contribute to the effective and efficient functioning of adult education centres in relation to community and institutional relations.’
Her findings show that there are networks at the municipal library in Madadeni which learners can use as a resource. ‘Adult education impacts the lives of the learners positively in many ways. Civic participation at the centre is evident through sports. A learner who participated in the study, a mother of two, learned to monitor the development of her children and also the proper diet for the family.’
Barbara’s study focused on evaluating the overall effectiveness of cognitive-based instruction for adult learning in Higher Education Institutions. She conducted a systematic review of the literature of 31 studies from Africa, Asia, America, Australia and Europe that presented models of cognitive-based instruction applied for adult learning across various disciplines.
One of the key findings was the importance of learner-instructor interactions in the learning process. ‘My research will definitely contribute to instructional design, and how effective cognitive-based instruction can get when a combination of cognitive tools and methods are used with learners within an appropriate learning environment eliciting the necessary cognitive thinking processes,’ said Barbara.
All three, who plan to complete their PhDs in the future, thanked family, friends and supervisors for their support.
Said Mutula: ‘We prayed together as a family. My husband, Professor Stephen Mutula who is Dean of UKZN’s School of Social Sciences, and my daughters - Barbara, Katie and Melody - were there for me throughout the journey’
Barbara added: ‘Congratulations to my family! We finally made it! Supporting and encouraging each other as a family through our ups and downs has paid off remarkably and now we have all graduated with master’s degrees.’