Couples doctoral dreams step closer with masters

April 14, 2008

Couples doctoral dreams step closer with masters

THE HERALD
Dineo Matomela EDUCATION REPORTER

HARD work and sacrifice have paid off handsomely for a Port Elizabeth couple, who will be awarded masters degrees in education later this month.

Luyanda and Feziwe Zokufa, of Walmer, will be among 7500 students who will graduate at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Universitys Port Elizabeth and George campuses from April 16 to 25.

Luyanda and Feziwe, with three children aged between 19 and eight, confessed there had been times when they neglected their children because of study commitments.

Sometimes we needed to be at the university and at other times we missed our appointments to pick up the kids from school, said Luyanda.

They have 40 years teaching experience between them. Luyanda is principal at the JK Zondi Primary School and Feziwe is a mathematics teacher at Ithembelihle High School in New Brighton.

They received bursaries from the education department, aiming for doctorates in education.

Luyanda aims in his future doctoral studies to investigate areas which would make a positive contribution to the education department.

We would like to motivate our colleagues to study and for young people to stay focused and get educated, he said.

The Zokufas conceded that teachers were not coping with the changes. It is difficult to judge those who are leaving … The department is in transition and we need to adjust to changes, including the abolishment of corporal punishment and the introduction of a new curriculum, said Luyanda. He said teachers needed to empower themselves to cope with the changes.

Luyandas research project focused on the impact of mentoring on beginner teachers and Feziwes research was based on how the education departments policy of redeployment damaged families of teachers.

In the redeployment, the department dispatched teachers to rural areas where there was a shortage of teachers. Feziwe said in many instances teachers had suffered from the relocation and in extreme cases a number of teachers died of stress-related causes.

She undertook the topic because she wanted the education department to change its strategy on resolving the teacher shortage.

Redeployment cannot be used anymore because many families have suffered. The Zokufas graduate on April 23.

Honorary doctorates will be bestowed on the former director general in the office of former president Nelson Mandela, Professor Jakes Gerwel, and Xhosa language expert Professor Nompumelelo Jafta.

SA Revenue Services commissioner Pravin Gordhan and one of the worlds richest men, Johann Rupert, will receive honorary DCom degrees.

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