UKZN Hosts School Principals and Teachers
UKZN’s Corporate Relations (CRD) team hosted school principals and teachers during Stakeholder Relations breakfasts in Newcastle and on the Pietermaritzburg campus.
Acting Executive Director of CRD Ms Normah Zondo said that as part of the strategic vision, UKZN is geared towards an institutional climate that promotes excellence, transformation, service culture, innovation and entrepreneurship. 'At UKZN we are passionate about teaching and learning. Our purpose of INSPIRING GREATNESS is what we aspire to achieve in all we do,’ said Zondo.
In her presentation, Acting University Relations Director Dr Sally Frost added that collective collaboration between higher education and secondary schools was vital in ensuring that communication channels remained strong, open and geared towards being relevant for discerning high school learners.
‘UKZN remains committed to being a truly transformed South African university that focuses on teaching and learning, research and community outreach,’ said Frost.
‘At UKZN, we are acutely aware of the role we play in promoting academic excellence, including building strong relationships with the communities we serve. Being future leaders and captains of industry, our students remain our most important asset and source of pride. So we know that the conversation should start when they are still high school learners.’
Presentations dealt with equipping students to meet the needs of global citizenry, the roles of Higher Education Institutes and schools in guiding learners to choose correct careers, and the importance of ensuring that applications to the Central Applications Office (CAO) were done correctly and timeously.
Associate Professor Nyna Amin of the Discipline of Curriculum Studies, addressed issues from an academic’s perspective.
‘In an age of uncertainty and ambiguity, schools will require intelligent leadership, dynamic teamwork and distributed caring for success,’ said Amin.
Central Admissions Office Chief Executive Officer Mr George van der Ross reflected on statistics in KwaZulu-Natal for the last two years, saying that UKZN remained the first choice University for students.
‘University readiness begins at school level,’ said van der Ross. ‘We need to engage with our learners from as early as Grade 9 to assist with subject choices and develop a personalised approach to understanding learner needs. This impacts directly on the types of qualifications and programmes they will have the opportunity to apply for when ready to take the next step.
‘Educators therefore have the important role of guiding and motivating their students to put them on the path to their goals. Lack of and incorrect information, wrong reference guides and late applications are some of the issues that cause unsuccessful applications - but which are easily avoidable. Correct and timeous information are vital,’ he said.
Education specialists Mr Reggie Khuzwayo of the Amajuba District and Mrs Nomhle Zondi of the Umgungundlovu district represented KZN’s Department of Education.
‘Stakeholder events such as this tell us that the door is wide open for engagement. Institutes like UKZN are excited and willing to partner. When we open doors to our learners, we make profound advancements to young lives with a very positive ripple effect,’ said Zondi.
Phendukani High School in Newcastle and Pietermaritzburg Girls High School were both presented with certificates in recognition of being top feeder schools for UKZN in their respective areas.
Words: Rakshika Sibran