The culmination of months of steady progress on developing effective course upgrades came in our Project Based Learning Engineering DemoKit Review. During the quarter, IYF completed co-design work for these upgrades with TVET lecturers and industry skills consultants. This co-design work included a three-day project-based learning workshop in early May and multiple virtual conferences in June. In-person workshops took place at Elangeni College’s Ntuzuma Campus, at the heart of a previously disadvantaged peri-urban community in Durban South.

Aligned to NATED curriculum frameworks and textbooks, High Gear staff and contracted engineering experts designed demonstration toolkit (demokit) prototypes for mechanical engineering and electrical engineering courses, along with initial lesson plans to support lecturers to use these toolkits in their classrooms.

In the upcoming quarter, High Gear will provide these customised DemoKit to Elangeni College, paired with lesson plans, lecturer training, and lecturer mentoring to enable TVET lecturers to implement student-centred, experiential methodologies in their classrooms. IYF’s collaborative approach for co-designing 21st-century pedagogical approaches with Elangeni College has been met with an overwhelmingly positive response from Elangeni College.

As Ms Kessni Uphadaya, Elangeni College’s Curriculum Manager, remarked:

“Never before has Elangeni College been assisted in this way by a non-profit partner! Whether it was an international or local organisation, IYF and the High Gear team has given us hope for strong curricula improvement for our students at a time of crisis. We are grateful for the effort and devotion to this project and sincerely look forward to many other collaborative undertakings.”

In addition, The Deputy Principal for Academic Services, Faith Ngema, has proposed a “Handover Event” for these kits featuring the press, delegates from the Department for Higher Education and Training and senior political figures within KZN local government. To this end, we will keep our funders informed of these exciting movements across the programme as High Gear assists in the rebuilding of our most impoverished students and devoted lecturers in difficult circumstances.