Approximately 200 Grade 8 and grade 9 learners from 2 local schools in Grassy Park took part in educational workshops for World Wetlands Day last year. File picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
Approximately 200 Grade 8 and grade 9 learners from 2 local schools in Grassy Park took part in educational workshops for World Wetlands Day last year. File picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

First cohort of matriculants to write Marine Sciences exams

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Oct 22, 2021

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Cape Town - The first batch of matriculants who started taking marine sciences as their high school subject last year, will be writing their exams for the first time.

The subject was launched as a pilot project two years ago in the Western Cape, and has now become a fully fledged subject that pupils can choose.

Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said in January 2019, the Two Oceans Aquarium, in partnership with Gansbaai Academia, Simon’s Town High and South Peninsula High, launched Marine Sciences as a new pilot subject.

Hammond said in July 2019, Marine Sciences was officially gazetted in the government gazette and has been Umalusi approved, and the training was conducted in 2019.

She said the Marine Sciences pilot subject was launched as part of the Grade 10 curriculum. It was offered as an extra subject on two afternoons per week at the node schools, and that was a first for South Africa and Africa.

“The first cohort of learners are now writing the NSC exam this year. There are 12 learners writing in the Western Cape,” said Hammond.

She said current schools that take the subject were Simon’s Town High, South Peninsula, Gansbaai Academia, Melkbosstrand and Protea Heights.

Russell Stevens, head of education at the Two Oceans Aquarium, said that was a significant milestone in the work towards the development of a subject which would eventually be implemented in schools across the country.

“It has been a privilege for the aquarium to develop the Marine Sciences Curriculum. This project is gaining momentum and the whole process has been very successful in putting the Two Oceans Aquarium on the map among the most senior officials in the Department of Basic Education and in the provincial education departments - WCED, Eastern Cape, KZN and the Gauteng Education Department," he said.

The Marine Sciences curriculum has been conceived to cover five areas - marine geography and geology, marine chemistry, marine physics, marine biology and humans and the ocean.

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