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Monday, 27 May 2024

Matric Life Science Revision project thrives

CREATING FUTURES: The revision sessions included learners from three high schools. CREATING FUTURES: The revision sessions included learners from three high schools.

The Faculty of Health and Wellness Sciences’ Life Science Revision project is growing from strength to strength, with nearly 200 matrics from three high schools joining in a recent revision session at CPUT.

The project was launched in 2018 by the Department of Emergency Medical Sciences’ Prof Kareemah Najaar, to help more learners achieve the minimum requirements to qualify for programmes in the science field.

Matric learners and teachers from Lavender Hill High School, Wynberg High School and Langa High School visited the Bellville Campus for the first revision session of the year, with 43 tutors volunteering to assist the learners.

The tutors included staff and students from all seven departments in the Faculty: Emergency Medical Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Wellness Sciences, Nursing, Medical Imaging and Therapeutic Sciences, Ophthalmic Sciences and Dental Sciences and, for the first time, tutors from the Department of Medical Biosciences at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

“Over the years, since its inception in 2018, this community project has grown in numbers and evolved in design, efficiency and leadership. What started as a project with myself and 15 tutors and one department supporting one high school with Life Science revision, now has a pool of approximately 100 tutor volunteers from seven FHWS departments as well as volunteers from UWC who are supporting three high schools,” said Najaar.

“I am also now part of a powerful leadership team, with Dr Wendy Solomon and Ms Marnel Germishuys, who work tirelessly to ensure the efficient planning and execution of each revision session. We are very proud of what has been termed as a Faculty Flagship.”

In previous years, a school would serve as the venue for the revision session, but this year learners were welcomed on campus, where they received valuable exposure to the institution.

Plans to expand the project are in the pipeline.

“Before the end of 2024, we intend inviting two additional schools from disadvantaged backgrounds in the Paarl district. We also intend to invite the Medical Biosciences Department, UWC to officially partner with us and continue to increase the number of adopted high schools.”

Najaar said a fundamental component of the project’s success was to use the feedback from the teachers and learners and adapting operations and revision content to their needs.

“I do believe that we have created a tutoring model that is able to adapt to various scenarios, from serious events such as the COVID-19 pandemic (when technology is not available to the disadvantaged) to an unexpected significant decrease in tutor numbers. The ever-adapting model ensures that the matric learners are provided with quality revision sessions in preparation for their final exams.”

Langa High School teacher, Nandipha Mandongana, said the project afforded learners the opportunity to revise topics that they may otherwise not have time for.

“The exposure to CPUT also serves as a motivation. They know what is expected of them in terms of their results if they want to make it (to CPUT) next year.”

Najaar said that in 2021 a significant component was added to the community project, that seeks to empower the young women in matric.

“In support of the national Sanitary Dignity Programme, we provide feminine hygiene products to the female students, in the hopes of making a small difference to the quality of education for young women.”

She thanked all role-players who contributed to the project’s success.

“We would always first give thanks to our tutors who volunteer their time and create a welcoming environment for the matric learners, without whom this project would not be possible. A warm thank you to our colleagues from UWC, who volunteered their time and skills. A heartfelt thank you to our teachers who provide us with the opportunity and guidance during the planning and execution of the revision sessions. We are also in appreciation for the received support from the Dean’s office as well as the Centre for Community Engagement and Work Integrated Learning, Service-learning division.”

Written by Ilse Fredericks

Email: Frederickskennediji@cput.ac.za