CPUT hosts education fundi national conference

CPUT’s Fundani Centre for Higher Education Development recently hosted a four-day annual conference of the Education Association of South Africa in Hermanus.

Under the theme “Dealing with educational inequalities in the age of measurement in South Africa – chas­ing numbers versus supporting students to succeed” over 100 delegates networked with the leaders in their fields of research whilst keeping abreast of advances in their fields.

Over the last three days keynote speakers, Professors Crain Soudien (CEO at the Human Sciences Research Council), Elizabeth Henning (University of Johannesburg) and Zubeida Desai (University of the Western Cape), took turns to share their experiences and wisdom.

Their respective addresses were energizing and inspiring prowess as they provided useful information and influenced opinions.

Dozens of papers were presented addressing some of the following sub-themes: performativity or capabilities versus graduate outputs, multilingual education, teacher education, pedagogic interventions and teacher autonomy, and ICT and values in education.

Delivering the opening address, CPUT’s DVC: Teaching and Learning, Prof Anthony Staak, said the conference came at an opportune time when the entire education system was confronting challenges.

“The first set of challenges I shall mention relates to what is often referred to as inefficiencies in the system, with cohort studies revealing high failure rates and unacceptably low throughput rates across the sector,” said Staak.

“In response to these inefficiencies in the Higher Education sector the Department of Higher Education and Training has made available a Teaching Development Grant to all universities in the hope that this grant, the TDG would be used to support interventions that address the challenge of high failure rates and poor throughput rates,” he added.

A few scholars of note were also awarded medals during the conference’s gala dinner in recognition of their outstanding contribution to higher education.

They are CPUT’s Prof Rajendra Chetty (Medal of Honour), University of Pretoria’s Dr MJ Malindi (Emerging researcher), University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Dr FP Khanare (Post-graduate) and University of Pretoria’s M Leask (Masters).

The conference was sponsored by Van Schaik Publishers, Pearson and Oxford University Press.

Pictures by Kelly Arendse of Kelly Arendse Photography