Celebrating Teaching Excellence
The College of Health Sciences’ (CHS) Teaching and Learning Office held its inaugural Teaching and Learning Symposium set to become an annual event on the College’s academic calendar.
Held under the theme: Implementation of the Graduate Core Competencies Framework for Undergraduate Students Towards Curriculum Transformation in the College of Health Sciences, the symposium assessed best practice in the application of the seven graduate core competencies.
In 2014, the CHS Teaching and Learning Task Team - in collaboration with representatives from the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Department of Health, stakeholders and community representatives - developed the Graduate Core Competencies Framework. The Framework presents seven core competencies that are a common baseline for all graduates from the health sciences programmes in the CHS, namely healthcare practitioner, scholar, professional, health advocate, leader and manager, communicator and collaborator. The competencies are developed in the practice environment ensuring cultural sensitivity, resilience, accessibility, flexibility, resourcefulness, reflectiveness, creativity, reflexivity and integrity.
In her presentation, Professor Busisiwe Ncama, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the CHS, recognised the importance of discourse in teaching. ‘In 2018, the Nelson Mandela Foundation has called for all South Africans to “Be the Legacy”, this means using your talents and skills in a way “that dismantles the unequal structures of power and protects the most vulnerable” wherever you are stationed in life. Let’s take up the baton as CHS academics and health professionals to make South Africa a better country to live in for all her children.’
The Dean of CHS Teaching and Learning, Professor Sinegugu Duma, commented on the reason for introducing the symposium. ‘This day signifies CHS’s commitment to curriculum transformation and the identification of synergies for promotion of inter-professional education and practice in all our undergraduate programmes. It is also a time for us to celebrate excellent teachers in our College through our excellent teacher awards,’ she said.
Staff in the CHS had the opportunity to nominate colleagues for recognition under the following categories:
- Category 1: Outstanding Contribution to Teaching;
- Category 2: Teaching Excellence in the Decentralised Clinical Training Platform (DCTP); and
- Category 3: Best Emerging Teacher.
Professor Shenuka Singh scooped the prize in Category 1, Dr Saul Cobbing in Category 2, and Dr Andile Khathi and Dr Sooraj Baijnath in Category 3.
All four winners received prizes from sponsors of the event including the Durban ICC, Hilton Hotel, Gooderson Leisure, Bidvest Car Rental as well as City Lodge. The University’s Capacity Development programme, which was also the main sponsor of the event, provided R10 000 in prize money.
Words: MaryAnn Francis