Education and Social Science Teach Children in South African township

July 18, 2014

A group of students from the School of Education and Social Sciences (ESS) had the opportunity to teach in South Africa.

Students from the BA (Hons) Education and Professional Studies course and the Centre for Volunteering and Community Leadership (CVCL) travelled to Port Elizabeth. The students went to teach English and IT skills to pupils at the township school of Karma, in New Brighton’s Red Zone. They spent over two weeks in January 2014 working with children in one of South Africa’s most challenging areas. In these areas levels of child poverty, deprivation and adult unemployment are high.

Travelling via Germany and Johannesburg, the students arrived exhausted but went straight to work. They taught after school activities in classrooms where outside temperature regularly exceeded 32 degrees. Teaching  classes of up to 60 pupils, with minimal resources and coupled with the risk of children collapsing in class from the effects of hunger the UCLan team provided the teachers and pupils with a range of activities. Principal A.M Diewu thanked the students for their fortitude and commitment at the start of the new school year.

The placement was made possible by the expertise of CVCL. Also, the hosts from Location Kids charity, who provided security, accommodation and transport throughout. Likewise it was made possible by the Dean and staff within ESS and finally by UCLan services. They each  juggled with the complexity and unique challenges such an opportunity posed.

Trip leader Dr. Paul Doherty of ESS reported that:

“Everyone involved went beyond the minimum and pulled out all the stops to provide this unique and life-changing opportunity for our students. We hope to continue our relationship with the Karma school and with the township. The students we took were exemplary and offered not only expertise but hope to children in the township. They worked in incredible heat in a very challenging environment and were a credit to UCLan.”