Tag Archives: teaching

World’s top 100 universities 2012 based on reputation

Once again Harvard has been ranked as the number 1 university according to the latest data  put together by The Times Higher Education and Thomson Reuters which is based on their reputations. Overall, UK universities have slipped several places whilst China has showed remarkable improvements.  The University of Cape Town, for another year, is still the top listed of Universities in Africa.

Higher education can have a life-changing impact in terms of social mobility and earning capacity.

The US for another year running has the most reputable universities in the world based the global reputation ranking.

An interesting fact to observe are the subtle changes from the previous years list. While several UK institutions have fallen in rank, China has improved in their overall performance and is expanding its higher education system faster than the majority of other countries in the world.

The latest results and trends trends has not changed the overall results of the countries producing the most reputable universities.  America still has the largest number of higher quality universities, followed by the UK.

The list and data is compiled by 17,554 leading academics originating from 149 countries who have rated campuses globally according to how good they thought their research and teaching were.

Given the sky rocketing tuition fees, there is an ever increasing competitiveness amongst student applicants to fight for limited spaces at the top universities whilst the reputation of the institution continues to be a major focus for prospective students.



To view complete list click here


Denel helps students to boost their maths and science


High school pupils are receiving assistance to enhance their mathematics and science grades from South African arms manufacturer, Denel, by way of a specialised training programme.

The programme began in 2008 and assists close to 80 students annually. Mike Ngidi, Denel’s human resources and transformation group executive, explained that Denel is adding to the enhancement in the quality of maths and science teaching by way of an outreach programmes and extra tuition provided to students in disadvantaged areas.

A team of 44 engineers employed in the aerospace and defence industry take time out of their weekend to assist and share their know-how about these vital subjects with pupils in grades 8 to 11 at Steve Tshwete Secondary School in Olievenhoutbosch.

As a result of their education programmes, Denel is creating new study and career opportunities to deserving students – particularly in the engineering professions.


Continuity of school syllabus

There are clearly remarkable improvements in science and maths results ever since the Denel Training Academy selected Steve Tshwete Secondary School as its project school.

The school’s principal, Takalani Ndou, pointed out the fact that they have recorded five maths and science distinctions in the two years since the project began. This is an accomplishment never attained before in the school’s short history.

The programme operates along with the school’s teachers to make sure that there exists a continuation with what the pupils are performing in the school syllabus.

Venashree McPherson, the people development manager at Denel Dynamics, explained how the company’s goal is to promote engineering as a career option for school leavers as a result of their tutoring programme together with the provision of bursaries to deserving students.



The pupils are given study guides, stationery and bags when they attent classes.

One of the students who completed the programme, Kgaugelo Mokholwane, was given a bursary from Denel Dynamics in 2011 to carry on with his studies at tertiary level, whilst another student won a national maths quiz run through the social network, MXit.

McPherson explained that the programme would undoubtedly carry on growing, with the anticipation of far better results in the long run.

Ngidi added: “As a result of our participation in education projects at high school level, we have high hopes to inspire a whole new generation of future engineers, technicians and artisans who will certainly make it possible for South Africa to help maintain its high-tech leadership position.”


Maths and science development strategy in Gauteng

This is not the only solution currently being undertaken to improve the standard of critical skills. The Gauteng Department of Education has layed out numerous goals and objectives to boost the quality of mathematics, science and technology (MST) education within the province.

These have been outlined in the MST Improvement Strategy Paper of 2009-2014, which states: “Quality in mathematics, science and technology education is an ever-increasing requirement for the development of skills needed in modern economies. As the center of the South African economy, Gauteng is required to make certain that school leavers moving into higher education and industry are sufficiently prepared in these subjects.”

Goals and objectives include: strengthening MST teaching to all of the Gauteng schools, which is focused on continually developing teachers’ instruction skills; increasing the provision of MST resources, which consists of the satisfactory distribution of MST textbooks along with other learning and teaching support materials to schools; offering programmes to support learners in MST, which comprises a variety of campaigns to enhance learner achievement by way of in-class and supplementary programmes; and additionally, boosting the management of MST teaching and learning, guaranteeing there is a positive and conducive environment for MST education in schools and districts.


Dinaledi Schools Project

Maths and science have been made a top priority subjects over a decade ago by the education department. The Dinaledi Schools Project was started in 2001 by the department to boost the volume of matriculants with university-entrance mathematics and science passes.

The strategy consists of selecting high schools for Dinaledi status to boost learner participation and performance in mathematics and science, and additionally provide them with the appropriate resources and support.

Dinaledi means “stars” in Setswana. The Department of Basic Education earmarked R70-million (US$9.1-million) for the Dinaledi schools programme in 2011/12; this is expected to reach R105.5-million ($13.7-million) in 2013/14.

Source: mediaclubsouthafrica.com


Roles and Responsibilities of Early Childhood Teachers

In order to become an early childhood teacher makes it necessary that you are prepared to wear many masks. As an veteran teacher, you are undoubtedly ready to be flexible. As a new teacher, take into account that your job description may possibly adjust each and every day.

In most instances, your role as an early childhood teacher will be very much the same to that of a guide. A guide leads other individuals down new paths. A guide walks alongside an individual on a journey, not in front. A guide at the same time helps to keep others safe from danger.



As an early childhood teacher, you will find yourself challenged to seek out unique activities to share with children. Guide young children, take care not to lead them, and proceed in a way that appeals to the child. As a guide, encourage the child to decide on their learning and playing style while you are making safety your primary concern!

Let go of the misconception that a teacher knows everything. Develop into a partner in learning and motivate children to seek out their own individual answers as opposed to providing the solutions for them. Through process of learning to be a partner, teachers learn along with the children and share in their experiences.

Early childhood teachers help and support learning by offering fun-based activities and materials that youngsters find appealing. By facilitating learning, offering a developmentally suitable environment, interesting materials, along with sufficient time to explore, play, and interact, children uncover that learning is easy and fun!


To nurture is to nourish. Nurturing a child involves all facets of development: social, emotional, cognitive, and physical. In each and every interaction, a teacher will need to nurture appropriate growth and development.

Teachers must at the same time make sure to listen to a child which includes interpreting words and actions. Listening carefully assists you to ascertain a child’s needs and also assists in advancing the child’s development.

Teachers communicate with a number of people during the day: parents, children, support staff, the general public, and administrators. Early childhood teachers will have to be willing to communicate with these types of people. You will need to feel at ease opening up, asking them questions, searching for help and advice, along with sharing your experiences.


Paperwork, lesson planning, preparing materials and the environment, and negotiating demands teachers to possess solid management skills. Managing a classroom necessitates organizational skills, attention to detail, and commitment.

Teaching is loaded with numerous responsibilities, roles, and challenges. Similar to the majority of worthwhile undertakings, it brings both challenges along with rewards. Be accommodating and you will definitely enjoy the benefits of teaching young kids.

Source: Childcare Education Institute


Child Care Workers

Significant Points

* About 33 percent of child care workers are self-employed, most of whom provided child care in their homes.
* Training requirements range from a high school diploma to a college degree, although some jobs require less than a high school diploma.
* Many workers leave these jobs every year, creating good job opportunities.

Nature of the Work

Child care workers nurture, teach, and care for children who have not yet entered kindergarten. They also supervise older children before and after school. These workers play an important role in children’s development by caring for them when their parents are at work or are away for other reasons or when the parents place their children in care to help them socialize with children their age. In addition to attending to children’s health, safety, and nutrition, child care workers organize activities and implement curricula that stimulate children’s physical, emotional, intellectual, and social growth. They help children explore individual interests, develop talents and independence, build self-esteem, learn how to get along with others, and prepare for more formal schooling.

Child care workers generally are classified into three different groups based on where they work: private household workers, who care for children at the children’s homes; family child care providers, who care for children in the providers’ homes; and child care workers who work at child care centers, which include Head Start, Early Head Start, full-day and part-day preschool, and other early childhood programs.

Private household workers who are employed on an hourly basis usually are called babysitters. These child care workers bathe, dress, and feed children; supervise their play; wash their clothes; and clean their rooms. Babysitters also may put children to bed and wake them, read to them, involve them in educational games, take them for doctors’ visits, and discipline them. Those who are in charge of infants prepare bottles and change diapers. Babysitters may work for many different families. Workers who are employed by one family are often called nannies. They generally take care of children from birth to age 12, tending to the child’s early education, nutrition, health, and other needs. They also may perform the duties of a housekeeper, including cleaning and doing the laundry.

Family child care providers often work alone with a small group of children, although some work in larger settings they work in groups or teams. Child care centers generally have more than one adult per group of children; in groups of children aged 3 to 5 years, a child care worker may assist a more experienced preschool teacher.

Most child care workers perform a combination of basic care and teaching duties, but the majority of their time is spent on caregiving activities. However, there is an increasing focus on preparing children aged 3 to 5 years for school. Workers whose primary responsibility is teaching are classified as preschool teachers. However, many basic care activities also are opportunities for children to learn. For example, a worker who shows a child how to tie a shoelace teaches the child while providing for that child’s basic needs.

Child care workers spend most of their day working with children. However, they do maintain contact with parents or guardians through informal meetings or scheduled conferences to discuss each child’s progress and needs. Many child care workers keep records of each child’s progress and suggest ways in which parents can stimulate their child’s learning and development at home. Some child care centers and before- and afterschool programs actively recruit parent volunteers to work with the children and participate in administrative decisions and program planning.

Young children learn mainly through playing, solving problems, questioning, and experimenting. Child care workers recognize that fact and capitalize on children’s play and other experiences to further their language development (through storytelling and acting games), improve their social skills (by having them work together to build a neighborhood in a sandbox), and introduce scientific and mathematical concepts (by balancing and counting blocks when building a bridge or mixing colors when painting). Often, a less structured approach, including small-group lessons; one-on-one instruction; and creative activities such as art, dance, and music, is used to teach young children. Child care workers play a vital role in preparing children to build the skills they will need in school.

Child care workers in child care centers, schools, or family child care homes greet young children as they arrive, help them with their jackets, and select an activity of interest. When caring for infants, they feed and change them. To ensure a well-balanced program, child care workers prepare daily and long-term schedules of activities. Each day’s activities balance individual and group play, as well as quiet time and time for physical activity. Children are given some freedom to participate in activities they are interested in. As children age, child care workers may provide more guided learning opportunities, particularly in the areas of math and reading.

Concern over school-aged children being home alone before and after school has spurred many parents to seek alternative ways for their children to spend their time constructively. The purpose of before- and after-school programs is to watch over school-aged children during the gap between school hours and the end of their parents’ daily work hours. These programs also may operate during the summer and on weekends. Workers in before- and after-school programs may help students with their homework or engage them in extracurricular activities, including field trips, sports, learning about computers, painting, photography, and other subjects. Some child care workers are responsible for taking children to school in the morning and picking them up from school in the afternoon. Before- and after-school programs may be operated by public school systems, local community centers, or other private organizations.

Helping to keep children healthy is another important part of the job. Child care workers serve nutritious meals and snacks and teach good eating habits and personal hygiene. They ensure that children have proper rest periods. They identify children who may not feel well, and they may help parents locate programs that will provide basic health services. Child care workers also watch for children who show signs of emotional or developmental problems. Upon identifying such a child, they discuss the child’s situation with their supervisor and the child’s parents. Early identification of children with special needs—such as those with behavioral, emotional, physical, or learning disabilities—is important in improving their future learning ability. Special education teachers often work with preschool children to provide the individual attention they need.

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Source: bls.gov, smh.com.au, nj.com, nydailynews.com, projectchild.org, thestar.com, abcnews.go.com


Plans to get more children to school

Government has unveiled plans to get more than 200 000 children between the ages of seven and 15 to school by 2014.

President Jacob Zuma, speaking after a mid-year Cabinet Lekgotla on Thursday, said the plan will be achieved by increasing the number of no-fee schools while widening feeding schemes to assist children from poor families.

“There will also be a drive to ensure that teachers are in class, teaching for the allocated school time. The delivery agreements have been negotiated with all the key stakeholders including provincial education departments and the trade unions,” Zuma said.

He said the Lekgotla, which was attended by Cabinet members, Premiers and MECs, agreed that to improve the quality of basic education, there was a need for a focus on the quality of teaching to improve results.

“In order to achieve this we will be providing all schools with appropriate learner and teacher support material such as lesson plans, work books, and textbooks to ensure proper coverage of the curriculum,” said Zuma.

Meanwhile, health authorities have reached about 90 percent of children under the age of five for polio immunisation across the country while 95 percent between the ages six months and 14 years have been immunised for measles.

Source: BuaNews, cap.org.za