By Hannah Theron
The Faculty of Education recently celebrated their second annual Education Week on campus. The event, which took place between 9 and 13 May, was initiated last year by the Education Student Committee (ESC), as they believe that it is important for the student community to have events such as this one.
“[Education Week is] for the students of the faculty so that they can feel included [in the faculty],
. . . and [the ESC] wants to leave its footprint in the community,” said Lize-Mari Slabber, the ESC chairperson.
“I think it’s important to let people know what [the Education] faculty represents and stand[s] for,” added Natania van der Spuy, a fourth-year BEd (Foundation Phase) student.
On the significance of education, Isabella Cloete, a second-year BEd (Foundation Phase) student, said, “Education is an important part of our society, and I think it’s important to include different aspects that incorporate what education is, like helping others.”
To start off Education Week, there was a quiz night at Casa Cerveza on 9 May. The theme of the night was “Back to School”, and the winners of the event were awarded prizes.
“Quiz Night was something fun where students could just get away from their books, go out and mingle with each other,” said Slabber.
On 10 May, the faculty celebrated Thank a Teacher Day, where students were encouraged to write letters to thank teachers who had a positive impact on them. Students were allowed to write chalk messages on the steps of the Education Faculty, and BEd students were also encouraged to think about how teachers from their past impacted their own teaching philosophy. This was according to Nerisha Adams, ESC Social Justice portfolio manager, who planned the event with the intention to show appreciation to teachers and to remind education students of what they are working towards.
“[Thank a Teacher Day was a] reminder just to say ‘thank you’ and be aware that it’s actually been nice to get education, since not everybody has that opportunity,” said Adams.
The faculty’s annual Sandwich Day was held on 11 May. Students gathered at the Education Faculty and made hundreds of sandwiches to donate to underprivileged schools. The bread manufacturer, Blue Ribbon, donated more than 150 loaves of bread in support of this event whilst students donated spreads.
Furthermore, on 11 May, the ESC also organised a CV Workshop Day where they arranged for a professional photographer to take CV photos for students, as well as a guest speaker to give students advice on putting together a CV and preparing for job interviews. This event was particularly useful for students in their final year who are preparing to enter the job market.
The final event of Education Week was Wellness Day, on 13 May, which consisted of a hike up Coetzenburg mountain so that students could “relieve stress and enjoy the great outdoors”, as per a post on the ESC’s Instagram profile (@su_education_student_committee).
Education Week is a way for students to become involved in the faculty beyond academics, according to the ESC. The events not only benefitted the students personally, but they also allowed them to give back to the community. The ESC’s goal with events such as the Sandwich Day, was to highlight the aspects of teaching that exist outside of the classroom and to inspire students to take initiative themselves.
“Getting a degree is one thing, but getting an education is more about your holistic development,” said Delecia Davids, a lecturer in the Department of Curriculum Studies. “Participating in activities such as [these] contribute to not only who you become as a person but . . . how you teach.”