In line with one of the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) DNA strand; engagement, DUT hosted the Launch of its School Engagement Project on Wednesday, 31 October 2018 at DUT’s Hotel School, Conference Centre, Ritson Campus.
The Launch was attended by DUT management, staff and students as well as teachers, parents and learners from neighbouring schools. It was also attended by other external stakeholders.
Speaking during the Launch, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement, Professor Sibusiso Moyo said DUT is excited about this project because it seeks to bridge the gap between DUT and schools within the region.
She encouraged learners to work hard in order to achieve their aspirations, adding that DUT is ready to welcome them once they complete matric. “Don’t be comfortable with the marks that you are currently obtaining, try to push yourselves harder because this world is very competitive. Practice and become perfect,” said Prof Moyo.
Prof Moyo also encouraged learners to look beyond the current challenges in our economy, but rather to look at them as opportunities. “Our challenges give you an opportunity to be innovative and come up with new solutions,” added Prof Moyo.
Director of DUT’s International Centre of Nonviolence (ICON), Crispin Hemson outlined the background and context of this project. “This project is about developing innovative projects using DUT students as tutors and mentors to high school learners. We do understand that one of our main challenges is lack of mentors, so we will provide training to our students to become mentors to high school learners,” he said.
“Through this project we are trying to maximise the scarce resources that we have, and we need to use them intelligently,” added Hemson.
Berenice De La Croix who is the Project Manager for this project gave an overview of the project, which she said is underpinned by the values of Ubuntu, compassion and punctuality.
“We have various pillars for this project, one of which is the focus on gateway subjects, where our students will tutor learners in Mathematics, Physical Science, Accounting and English. The second pillar is social entrepreneurship, we also have Peacebuilding Clubs and lastly we also offer support to schools’ management,” said De La Croix.
She added that through this project their objective is to develop learners into leaders, which will benefit the higher education sector and the broader South African society. “This project started in August 2018 and we are expecting it to grow from strength to strength,” she added.
One of the mentors, Hleli Zwane who is also a student at DUT said through this project they want to be the drivers of change that they want to see in our society.
Nokwanda Nzama, a learner from Hunt Road Secondary School said this project has had a profound impact in their lives, and it has taught them to be innovative and instilled the importance of collaborations.
The launch was a joint partnership between DUT ICON and DUT Advancement and Alumni Relations department.
Pictured: Some of the participants at the DUT School Engagement Project Launch.