Press Office: Honoris United Universities
Honoris United Universities, the first private pan-African higher education network, announces the official launch of the MANCOSA School of Education in South Africa, designed to meet the education and training needs of aspiring teachers and education professionals within the continent.
The MANCOSA School of Education, which forms part of the MANCOSA Group – a member institution of Honoris – has been launched in response to one of Africa’s greatest challenges – the widening gap between teacher supply and student demand across the continent. Within this challenge, the school will impart the skills and behaviours necessary to adapt to the demands of new technologies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Founded in 1995, MANCOSA is today one of the largest and leading distance learning institutions in the region, with a number of centres across Southern Africa, providing students with an active, innovative learning model rooted in real-life experiences and a carefully integrated mix of lectures, well-designed self-study modules and online resources. Since becoming a founding member of the Honoris network in 2017, MANCOSA has further strengthened its distance learning model and introduced an online blended mode, while taking the next steps in becoming a multi-disciplinary institution. These milestones form part of the network’s shared vision to improve the quality and accessibility of education within Africa.
The opening of the School of Education also reflects MANCOSA’s overall commitment to diversity, accessibility and flexibility. The School’s leadership architecture is built around three key areas with the objective of revolutionising traditional classroom teaching through bespoke programmes: 1. Teacher Education and Training; 2. Leadership and Management Education and Training; and, 3. Administration Education and Training. The programmes are designed to meet the needs of aspiring and existing teaching professionals in addition to education managers, leaders and administrators to assist in preparing them to face the changing and increasing demands of the 21st century.
Commenting, CEO of Honoris United Universities, Luis Lopez, said, “The MANCOSA School of Education aims to develop and inculcate a passion for teaching by offering a balance of theory, professional skills and practical experience related to increasingly complex learning environments. The overall goal of the School, is to develop professionals with the abilities required to strengthen the education ecosystem in Africa, a core success factor in the continent’s future.”
Mr. Lopez added, “Coming at the point where Honoris is celebrating its second anniversary, we are proud to announce such an important milestone in our Education for Impact journey – a new School of Education that fuses collaborative learning with practical and theoretical underpinnings.”
Encompassing 4,000m2 over four stories, the future facilities of the new school are located in Durban’s CBD and will be cutting-edge. The learning spaces include student engagement pods, an interactive 144-seat auditorium, spacious seminar rooms, networking suites as well as an extensive reference library with access to a multitude of electronic resources. The school will also promote innovative and interactive methods of teaching via its iTeach Lab, featuring simulated and ‘live in’ classrooms in order to prepare aspiring professionals to succeed in diverse teaching environments.
Commenting on the news, Professor Zaheer Hamid, Academic Director at MANCOSA, said, “The quality of teaching is inextricably linked to the country’s ability to succeed in advancing our economy at the dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Equipping teachers with educational management and leadership skills ensures that they thrive as educational managers and enjoy a more progressive and fulfilling teaching career. Equally important is improving the resilience of teachers in high stress environments which makes for happier, more motivated professionals inspired to give of their best in the classroom.”
During the launch event, mobile libraries were presented to schools across the country in line with MANCOSA’s youth literacy initiative. MANCOSA has joined forces with the Foundation of its founder and Honoris board member, Prof. Yusuf Karodia, through its ‘Million Books Project.’ The initiative aims to provide more than a million books to school children across South Africa to internalise a love of reading, thus improving the prospective quality of classroom teaching and learning.