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The main focus of service-learning team is the reconstruction of land development of civil society at community level through utilisation of assets that are embedded in these communities, and in partnership with service organisations and communities themselves, in order to improve the quality life of the disadvantaged communities. CENTRAL PURPOSE
The service-learning focuses on the promotion of community engagement that is fully integrated with teaching, learning and research.
The service-learning enhances the strategic priorities and transformation goals of the WSU faculties that provide for the development and implementation of service-learning. PRIMARY GOAL
To facilitate transformation of academic progress that will produce a new graduate cadreship responsive to issues of development through a service-learning ethos.
The team has currently six service-learning modules that implement in seven communities. These communities are:
Students visit these communities to hold workshops and do research during the implementation of these modules. These modules are: Service-Learning Activities per Faculty
Service-Learning Module: Faculty of Education
The Child and Adolescent Service-Learning Module
This service-learning module falls under the Department of Psychology. This module is compulsory and carries credits towards Bachelor of Psychology. In this module, 4th year Psychology students visit schools in Mhlakulo, Mbekweni and Ngangelizwe communities around Mthatha and NGO’s around Mthatha (such as Umtata Child Abuse, Children in distress) to do counseling. In this module, the abused children and learners at school are also taught about the dangers of drug abuse, HIV/AIDS and pregnancy. Rural Local Government Service-Learning Module
This module is compulsory and carries credits towards Bachelor of Social Sciences (Political Science). The module started with the students’ preparatory workshop on the 17 October 2012. The community site visits started on the 19 October 2012. The implementation of this module was not smooth due to challenges with the university transportation, and the competing community events which were arranged at the same time the module was implementing. However, in spite of these challenges, the implementation went well. Service-Learning Module: Faculty of Business, Management Sciences and Law
The Street Law Service-Learning Module
This service learning module falls under the department of Criminal and Procedural Law. This module is offered to 4th year LL.B students, and it implements in the Baziya, Mhlakulo, Mbekweni and Ngangelizwe communities around Mthatha. The community members are taught issues of human rights, domestic violence and HIV/AIDS. The students spent 60 hours in the community. The module carries 16 credits. Public Relations Service-Learning Module
This new service learning module which forms part of second year National Diploma: Public Relations implemented for the first time in 2011. In the academic year 2012, this module implemented in the Baziya Community. Students for this module organized a launch for the Baziya Community’s sewing project. The name of the project is called Sondelelanani Sewing Project. The students fundraised for the project, bought a sewing project banner to publicize the project. The funds raised also covered the refreshments costs for the launch of the project. The following government departments were invited to the launch of the project: Department of Arts & Culture; Department of Social Development, and the Department of Agriculture & Rural Development. The launch, which was well attended, was a huge success. Financial Management Service-Learning Module
This new service learning module which forms part of 3rd year Business Management implemented for the first time in 2011. In the academic year 2012, the implementation of this module took place in the Baziya Community. The WSU’s Financial Management students’ assisted Kwanobuhle S.S.S.’ pupils with challenging subjects such as mathematics, accounting and business management. The efforts of the convenor of this module, who utilized his vehicle (due to challenges with the University transportation) to go with the students to the Baziya community, must be acknowledged. Service-Learning Module: Faculty of Health Sciences
The Population Medicine Service-Learning Module
This service-learning module falls under the Department of Community Medicine. This module is compulsory and carries credits towards MBChB. In this module, 3rd year medical students examine patients (under the supervision of a qualified Doctor) at the Health Centres. As part of the module, the students are also expected to do clinic diagnosis within the Health Centres. The students also investigate how the Health Centres perform; problems encountered at the Health Centres etc. The students spend approximately 156 hours in the communities. Community Nursing Science Service-Learning Module
This new service-learning module which forms part of the Bachelor of Nursing degree implemented for the first time in 2011.In the academic year 2012, this year-long module started with the implementation in the first semester, and continued all year round. During this period the students carried out research projects within the community. The implementation went well; the students were at all times accompanied by the community representatives, and their course convenors.
The Faculty has entered into a partnership with Nyandeni Health Sub-District involving all of the salient functions of an institution of higher learning: education, research, community engagement and service delivery. The partnership involves various activities which can be broadly described as the identification of challenges in the delivery of health services in the Sub- District, the performance of a situational analysis, the identification of priorities for intervention and the implementation of these intervention strategies, the further development and improvement of students’ community-based learning, and then the replication of the lessons learnt in other health districts. Service-Learning Module: Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology
Crop pests of Southern Africa Service-Learning Module
This is new service-learning which forms part of B Sc (Botany) which will be offered for the first time in 2013. In 2012, the course convener of this module, accompanied by the Community Liaison Officer, visited the Baziya Community on a fact finding mission in preparation for the implementation in 2013. Insects and Man Service-Learning Module
This 16-credit bearing module implements in the first semester. This is a core academic module that is offered as part of the Pest Management Programme of the Department of Botany. It has been designed to assist WSU and subsistence farmers from Baziya, Mbekweni and Mhlakulo communities to:
(i) identify, combat and contain pests problems in an ecologically and environmentally sound manner so that natural processes such as interactions between pests and beneficial insects in environment are not disrupted.
(ii) improve food production by small-scale farmers through the use of efficient and effective agronomic practices amongst other novel agricultural methods, thereby alleviating starvation, malnutrition, disease and poverty.