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Following the official opening of the 2019 National Science Week that took place on 29 July 2019 at Vuwani Science Resource Centre, the University of Venda (UNIVEN) team took to the road into villages, manifesting one of the three pillars of the University stands which is community outreach. Whilst the first two days were spent at the centre in Vuwani, allowing a list of selected schools to visit the centre, Wednesday of the same week was spent at Shingwedzi High School in Malamulele Circuit where 3 schools were hosted. On the fourth day, Luvhivhini Secondary, Zoutpansberg West Circuit hosted 10 schools whilst on the fifth day, seven schools were hosted at Malilele Secondary School in Shakadza, Niani Circuit.

Assistant Schools Liaison Officer Justice Lebopa addressing learners at Shingwedzi Secondary school during the National Science Week

Addressing learners from Zoutpansberg South Circuit hosted at Luvhivhini Secondary School, Mr Siavhe encouraged learners to go and study because studying while there is still time will prepare them for the upcoming examinations.

Physics Curriculum Coordinator for Vhembe West District, Mr Siavhe, addressing learners at Luvhivhini Secondary School

During the visits to hosting schools around Vhembe District, the programme included, amongst others, techno quiz, demonstrations and experiments led by UNIVEN students and lecturers.

The Programme Director Mr Sampie Mathebe briefing learners outside the classrooms before they attend the science experimental sessions

Once learners were taken through some formal sessions on their syllabus, they were addressed by a member of the UNIVEN Schools Liaison team who shared with them the opportunities and admission requirements at UNIVEN.

UNIVEN Schools Liaison Officer, Mr Takalani Nyelisani addressing learners on admission requirements as well as sharing programmes available

Common at all venues, with the challenge of lack of laboratories and bigger halls, learners were divided into manageable groups to ensure that they were given sufficient as well as equal opportunities, those learners that were not in demonstration classes were treated to some entertainment with science games and demonstrations of different topics.

Science demonstrations by Vuwani Science Resource Centre interns

Coordinator of Vuwani Science Resource Centre, Dr Eric Maluta addressing learners on climate change at Malilele Secondary

Shingwedzi High School Grade 12 learners busy with Physical Science experiments coordinated by Vuwani Science Resource Centre interns

Sessions varied with motivational talks by UNIVEN Environmental Sciences PhD candidate and artist, Mulalo “Bamba Muphandi” Mutoti who shared with learners the journey of his life. Bamba discouraged learners to allow their music talents and interest to preoccupy their life without similarly pursuing same dream for education. “Talents are good, and they must be nurtured; but, without these being backed up by education, they can easily fade into nothing. I take my education very seriously”, said Bamba. Whilst listening to Bamba, learners were given a treat to some of his well-known and appreciated musical tracks.

UNIVEN Environmental Sciences PhD candidate and artist, Mulalo “Bamba Muphandi” Mutoti

UNIVEN Schools Liaison Officer, Mr Takalani Nyelisani expressed his appreciation for the collaboration, which he believes will assist at length to create interest amongst learners from rural-based schools to consider studying courses that have frustrated most learners who do not have access to Science laboratories and educators. He believes that there is a need for every school at UNIVEN to consider ways to team up with the Schools Liaison Office in order to develop unique strategies for recruitment of learners from targeted schools and communities.

“With the threat of the 4th Industrial Revolution, we need to work together to prepare our learners to consider careers and programmes that will help them survive and be relevant to the era. The collaboration with Vuwani Science Resource Centre is one of the ways in which we encourage learners to consider studying for areas with scarce skills, especially in Science and Technology”, said Nyelisani.”

“As Vuwani Science Resource Centre, we look forward to using these strategies to reach out to learners in deprived communities, and to increase our annual registration targets in the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences. We also use the National Science Week as an awareness campaign to alert learners on the importance of Science and Technology based on the theme for each year,” said the Coordinator of Vuwani Science Resource Centre, Dr Eric Maluta.

Issued by:
Department of Communications & Marketing
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525
Date: 15 August 2019

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