The Secondary Curriculum Management Directorate of the Eastern Cape Department of Education in collaboration with the National Department of Tourism, the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa, Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Eastern Cape Parks & Tourism Agency and the Blue-Ribbon Culinary Institute hosted a teacher development programme at Mpongo Private Game Reserve in East London recently.
The programme was attended by more than 60 high school tourism and hospitality educators from Buffalo City Metropolitan District.
This year’s programme was categorised into 3 sessions:
The first session was about empowering educators to emphatically educate learners with quality tourism and hospitality education content and updating them on developments in the tourism industry.
The second session was a cooking demonstration by the Blue-Ribbon Culinary Institute and the last session was the game drive which triggered interest in exploring local tourism sites in the province.
Shedding light on the background and purpose of this programme was Twoboy Babini Rantsane who is a Subject Planner of Business Studies, Consumer Studies and Tourism said that the programme is a capacity building exercise for educators who teach tourism and hospitality subjects.
"The programme is also aimed at attempting to bridge the knowledge gap of educators without any formal education and training in the particular fields. It therefore enables them to have a better insight into what these subjects entail and expose them to what takes place in the real world," said Rantsane.
The educators were also equipped with career and entrepreneurship opportunities in the tourism industry and niche tourism markets.
Tourism educator at Thembalabantu High School Ziphelele Maxam said that she has acquired a lot of relatable content from this programme, which will enable her to integrate her lessons by making practical examples when teaching learners in class.
"We have also gained more knowledge on career paths related to tourism sector but most importantly the programme inspired and pervaded us with growth and we are hoping for more programmes that will develop us even more in the field," said Maxam excitedly.
Magic Mbhiza from the National Department of Tourism encouraged educators to continue to participate and support the programme in order to enhance their understanding and knowledge as well as to experience tourism product and services.
"This programme will benefit the educators through acquiring and enhancing their knowledge and understanding on latest tourism trends and development that is aligned to the tourism syllabus.
The session will assist educators with teaching tourism subjects in class with precise understanding and knowledge as well as relating the experience acquired here," concluded Mbhiza.
PHOTOGRAPHER: NELISIWE SANYAKA