Teacher Education Campus Siyabuswa
The Teacher Education Campus at Siyabuswa is aimed at establishing a new university in Mpumalanga – the first new university in South Africa since 1994 when the first democratic government was formed. This initiative is a joint undertaking that involves the University of Johannesburg (Academic Programme), the National Department of Higher Education and Training, the Mpumalanga Department of Education and the National Institute of Higher Education (Mpumalanga).
At the start of 2013 the first cohort of students arrived at the Teacher Education Campus, Siyabuswa to start with their four year B Ed Foundation Phase teacher training programme offered by the Department of Childhood Development. With an emphasis on the training of a new generation of Foundation Phase teachers, the faculty’s academic program at Siyabuswa is being offered to students from a rural background. The aim is that these students upon graduation will return to their communities to help address the need for well-trained Foundation Phase teachers in the rural areas of the country. During his address at the formal opening of the Siyabuswa campus, Minister Blade Nzimande of the Department of Higher Education and Training expressed his sincere wish that this initiative will help alleviate the need for trained teachers that will return to schools in the rural areas once they graduate. In this way, a contribution is also made to the development of rural areas, as stated in the National Development Framework.
The faculty’s unique approach to the use of a teaching school is also being replicated at Siyabuswa. A teaching school acts as a real-world example of a fully functional school, giving students opportunities to learn through observation and direct interaction with teachers and pupils. In therefore bridges the theory-practical divide that often characterises teacher training at universities. The lessons learned at the Soweto Campus’ Funda Ujabule teaching school have thus far proven to be invaluable. At Siyabuswa, the Mareleng Primary School is being established as the second teaching school in the country. The main difference, however, is that Mareleng Primary school is an existing school that needs to be transformed into a teaching school, unlike Funda Ujabule that started out as a teaching school. In this regard a unique research opportunity presented itself – one that is keenly embraced by the faculty.
Currently a four-year B Ed Foundation Phase Teacher training programme is being offered at the Teacher Education Campus at Siyabuswa. This programme is being offered under the auspices of the Faculty of Education at UJ while the envisaged university in Mpumalanga Province is being established.
With an emphasis on establishing something unique, the Faculty of Education of the new university in Mpumalanga will be able to draw on the experience, expertise and knowledgebase from UJ's Faculty of Education.
A strong emphasis is placed on relevancy, both inside and outside the formal programme, as well as attempts to close the gap that often exists between formal tertiary education and the real world of work. In this regard the concept of a teaching school has thus far proven to be invaluable. This same concept is also being used at the Siyabuswa Campus. The Mareleng Primary school has been selected after an in-depth selection process to serve as a teaching school for the training of pre-service teachers.
The Teacher Education Campus at Siyabuswa use to be the Ndebele College of Education. Situated in an area known as the Cultural Heartland of Mpumalanga, the campus forms an integral part of the surrounding community.
Apart from lecture halls equipped with the latest technologies, laboratries, auditoriums and consultation rooms, the campus also offers accommodation in well equipped residences.
The academic staff members at the Teacher Education Campus, Siyabuswa are responsible for various modules that constitute the B Ed Foundation Phase teacher training programme. Currently, these academic staff members are part of and managed by UJ.
Each has a wealth of experience in their respective fields, contributing to the richness of the talent and knowledge on offer to the Foundation Phase students at the Teacher Education Campus, Siyabuswa.
News and Events
The Teacher Education Campus at Siyabuswa is a hive of activity, despite being located in the country-side. In this environment it soon becomes apparent that in the abscence of the hustle and bustle of big urban environments an emphasis is placed on human interaction. Our News and Events section emphasises this aspect of our campus life. Afterall, training Foundation Phase teachers at Siybuswa aims to nurture an emphasises on rural and peri-urban environments.