Graduation ceremony honours many education students

Posted on April 25, 2018

                              Graduation ceremony honours many education students

The Faculty of Education at the University of Pretoria is proud to announce the success of their students over the past year.

On 17 April 2018, 278 distance education students were awarded  BEd Honours Education Management, Law and Policy degree during a graduation ceremony.

On Monday, 23 April 2018, 4 students were awarded the degree, Doctor of Philosophy at the graduation ceremony in the Rembrandt Hall. Prof Sarah Howie introduced her student, Dr Carlos Alexandra da Silva Lauchande. His thesis was on ‘Systematic factors associated with changes in Grade 6 learners’ achievements’.

She also introduced her second student, Dr Nelladee Palane, a staff member at the Centre for Evaluation and Assessment in the Faculty of Education. Her thesis was on ‘Parent and teacher experiences of Zimbabwean inclusive education’.

Prof Salomé Human-Vogel, Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Education, introduced her student, Dr Monica Deidre van Niekerk. Dr Van Niekerk did her thesis on ‘Relational requirements of attachment and the well-being of adolescents in the family’.  

Dr Maximus Sefotho from the Department of Educational Psychology introduced his student, Dr Magumise Johnson.  Dr Johnson did his thesis on ‘Parent and teacher experiences of Zimbabwean inclusive education.

Three students were awarded the Master in Education degree while 110 students were awarded the Bachelor of Education Honours degree. 330 students were awarded the Bachelor of Education degree.

Achievement awards were made to Jacqueline Thandeka Mnisi as the Best Student in the BEd Senior Phase degree. Theodora, Tanja Pouwels were awarded as the best student in the degree BEd Early Childhood Development and Foundation Phase.

Prof Stephanie Burton, Vice Principal, welcomed everyone at the graduation ceremony. She said the ‘Tukkies turned 110 years old in February this year. It is one of the largest and most highly respected universities in South Africa, and in Africa, with over 50 000 students. It has 9 faculties, on six campuses, and has graduated well over a quarter of a million students in the hundred and ten years of its existence. In this autumn graduation season we will graduate 11 423 students.’ 

‘A degree from a university as prestigious and highly respected as UP is a measure of your ability – and is also a sign of your worth as one of so few highly qualified people whose skills and knowledge have been

accredited by this university.’

‘You may be interested to know that the University of Pretoria is ranked in the top 250 universities in the world, for Education, and 2nd in Africa, by the QS Subject rankings, which means your UP qualification in Education will be highly regarded.’

‘The world into which you will take your new qualification is starkly different from the world of previous decades and continues to change rapidly. We are now well into the first phase of the Fourth Industrial Revolution – the era of digitalisation – with some people already talking about a Fifth Revolution. But this is also a world still characterised by significant inequalities, poverty, hunger, unemployment and poor access to sound educational opportunities.’

‘Responding to these challenges of inequality, the United Nations General Assembly adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015, to be achieved within 15 years. The goals range from the elimination of poverty and of hunger through access to clean water – and including, high up on the list, Quality Education.’

‘As educators, you will have an important role in helping to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal of Quality Education – which is urgently needed in our own country and across the African continent. Ensuring quality education means more than teaching well.  It also means taking a clear stand for secure class rooms, proper facilities for learners, and adequate learning materials.’

‘Your understanding of the critical role that education plays in enabling young people to find employment, or to go on to post-school education – and to help support family members – is a great strength, to be exercised in support of a better society, less unemployment and greater social security.’

‘As graduates with sound knowledge and skills in Education, you are very well placed to make the most of these challenging global conditions. The Fourth Industrial Revolution will progressively provide valuable means for improving classroom education and extend opportunities beyond traditional physical boundaries. Children and young people in remote areas will increasingly have access, through mobile phones at least, to lessons being taught in urban areas – or from other countries.’

‘Information will become increasingly easily available, as will misinformation, placing responsibility on educators to enable learners to distinguish between what is valuable and what is dangerous. Online games are already helping to do just that. The BBC, for example, has launched a new game designed to educate young people on the dangers of fake news.’

‘In this complex society, each of you has an essential and critical role to play in the face of vast oceans of data that need to be deployed in constructive ways, and in guiding future generations in the responsible use of information for the benefit of society and to make this a better world.’

‘Today, though, is a time deserving of great celebration. What is more, you have achieved much.  Make the most of what today means! Celebrate with everyone who is with you; be proud, go confidently into the next phase of your careers.’


‘Our warmest congratulations – to each and every one of you – and our sincere thanks to all those who have supported you along the way’, Prof Burton said.


- Author Annalize Brynard
Published by Thabo Masenamela

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