Central Connecticut State University Short Course on Basic Education in SA

23 Jun 2017 - 13:00

The Global Short-term Academic Programmes (GSAP) unit recently hosted a visiting group from the Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), on a short course about South African history and its impact on the education system.

Central Connecticut State University Short Course on Basic Education
A group from Central Connecticut State University visit Cape Town for a short course.


“The programme went above and beyond my expectations,” says Anthony Walentukonis,one of the 11 CCSU students hosted by GSAP – a unit within the International Academic Programmes Office (IAPO) - from 14 to 24 March. The CCSU students were drawn from a range of disciplines, including computer science, communications, and sociology.

“The lectures were amazing and the visit to the primary school was fantastic,” he says.

Lectures and a school visit formed part of the programme, “Overview of the SA Education System”, the purpose of which was to impart information about South Africa and Cape Town through experiential learning. UCT lecturers Drs Patti Silbert and Jon Clark led a discussion on apartheid, post-apartheid South Africa, issues of transformation, and how this all impacts on education.

In addition to the lectures and visit to Beacon View Primary School in Mitchell’s Plain, the students also visited and learnt about two of the city’s iconic sites, Robben Island and Cape Point.

The Robben Island tour included a talk by political activist Dr Philip Dexter who taught students about the history of the island and the struggles prisoners like late former president Nelson Mandela endured. Students also learnt about how political prisoners like the late stalwarts Ahmed Kathrada and Govan Mbeki risked punishment in pursuit of an education. They learnt how prisoners played sports and engaged in cultural activities, activities to help resist the apartheid regime’s attempts to break their spirits.

At Cape Point, students were treated to some of the most spectacular views in the city before enjoying a continental dinner.

One student, Aliyah Anderson said learning about South Africa, its history and UCT meant her expectations were met.

Another, Shihani Ghazi, said she appreciated “the human connections with the children, the people I met and the information I learned about the education system”.