Collaboration agreement focuses on community development
A collaboration agreement was concluded between the North-West University (NWU) and a distance-teaching organisation to help alleviate the socio-economic circumstances and level of teaching in disadvantaged areas.
This agreement was concluded with a non-profit institution, Docenda, which operates nine centres across South Africa on strong business and Christian principles. The Faculty of Theology on the Potchefstroom Campus has had an agreement with Docenda since November 2014 to present distance tuition in theological subjects.
The new agreement with the NWU will expand the areas of teaching to, among other things, agriculture, education and basic medical sciences to meet the needs of communities. These courses will contribute to services that are being delivered at existing clinics in the communities.
Dr Hendri Coetzee of the directorate for community engagement at the NWU said that the primary focus areas are teacher training and the socio-economic upliftment, which will be approached in an integrated and holistic manner.
He said that the role that senior students can play within the communities, especially with regard to community projects, will also be investigated. Not only to provide assistance, but also as part of their own training or curriculum.
Docenda already has well-equipped centres that utilise whiteboard technology, and the NWU will provide assistance with study material, and academic and quality control.
Coetzee said the collaboration agreement will later be followed by a formal memorandum of understanding.
Attending the signing of the collaboration agreement were (in front) Mr Hannes Steenkamp (chairperson of Docenda) and Prof Fika Janse van Rensburg (Rector of the Potchefstroom Campus). At the back are Prof Dries du Plooy and Dr Douw Breed of the Faculty of Theology and Ms Bibi Bouwman and Dr Hendri Coetzee of the directorate for community engagement.