Cape Town – The Two Oceans Aquarium, in partnership with Gansbaai Academy, Simon’s Town High and South Peninsula High will in January launch marine sciences as a new pilot subject.

These three schools have been selected as ‘marine sciences node schools’ and will offer the new subject to Grade 10 pupils.

These pupils will be the pilot group and successful candidates will be awarded a Two Oceans Aquarium Grade 12 Marine Sciences Certificate when matriculating. 

The pilot project aims to guide teachers to introduce this subject as an official matric subject for Grade 10 pupils in 2020.

Aquarium head of education Russell Stevens said this was a significant milestone in the work towards the development of the subject which was to be implemented at schools across the country from 2020.

“This project is gaining momentum and the process has put the Two Oceans Aquarium on the map. Our team have worked very hard at developing partnerships with the Department of Basic Education and in the provincial Education Departments.

“Support from senior officials in the Departments of Education has shown recognition for the contribution made by the Two Oceans Aquarium staff in partnering with South Africa’s formal education sector,” Stevens said.

The aquarium’s education department sees about 70 000 schoolchildren visit the aquarium each year who are introduced to the wonders of the marine ecosystems. In addition, 30 000 children are exposed to the aquarium’s two outreach programmes.

These courses, usually presented over weekends or during school holidays and through various sponsorships, are offered free of charge.

The maritime sciences curriculum has been conceived to cover five subdisciplines: marine geography and geology, marine chemistry, marine physics, marine biology, humans and the ocean.

This will be offered as an “after-school” 8th subject at the node schools, over two afternoons per week. The subject will also be available to interested Grade 10 pupils from neighbouring schools and nearby areas. A minimal cost for students will apply and be payable to the node schools’ governing body.

Node schools are inviting prospective Grade 10’s who wish to take marine sciences from 2019, to apply.

For enquiries, contact Gansbaai Academy at 028 384 2370, Simon’s Town High at 021 786 1056, South Peninsula High at 021 712 9318.