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Former top achiever discusses his experience of the NGOS qualification at Akademia

Jaco Conradie, top student of Akademia’s class of 2021, recounted how his year of Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Senior Phase- and Further Education, and Training-education) studies was a story of chance and also definitely an intervention from above. He is currently fulfilling his dream as Afrikaans teacher at Hoërskool Drie Riviere (a high school) and recommends this field of study at Akademia for anyone who wants to make a difference in the lives of learners.

He also completed a BA in language practice and Afrikaans/Dutch at the North-West University’s Vaal Triangle Campus. ‘After that, I completed my honours degree in language practice with specialisation in text editing, subtitling, and translation at the same university and campus,’ said Conradie. He graduated both qualifications cum laude.

He saw a flyer of Akademia in his vice principal’s office by chance. ‘Akademia’s Christian values and the opportunities the institution creates for Afrikaans speaking students directly appealed to me,’ mentioned Conradie. He then spoke to students who were enrolled at Akademia at the time and they had only positive comments. ‘I submitted my application and received swift feedback stating that my application was approved. I was ecstatic,’ he recounted.

Conradie decided to take on Akademia’s PGCE qualification for several reasons. ‘First, a PGCE qualification is a valuable qualification to possess, seeing that it enables the student to combine existing knowledge with the ability to educate others effectively,’ he said. According to him, the PGCE qualification teaches a student how to effectively and logically convey what you know through a variety of teaching styles, -methods, and –techniques, and to assess others accordingly. To Conradie, education is not just about conveying facts to learners, but also about preparing them for life after school. ‘A teacher, regardless of the subject or age of the learners they teach, has a great responsibility towards each learner sitting in their classroom.’

The Department of Education requires of an individual to be in possession of a teaching qualification to thereby obtain a departmental appointment and to be eligible for promotion to a higher job level. ‘Thus, I decided to complete the qualification to be able to get these opportunities. The NGOS qualification therefore greatly promoted my profession as a teacher,’ he explained.

This qualification is currently presented on Akademia’s after-hour education model. ‘To study after hours was a big but enjoyable challenge for me. I had a full-time job and the uncertainties that Covid-19 led to were always on my mind,’ he said. ‘However, this model is fantastic for working students.’

Conradie mentions that the lectures are of such a nature that it does not take up too much of your time, but is still very valuable. ‘Lectures take place in the evening, so there is no need to take off from work to attend the lectures. The most of your tests and exams take place on Saturdays, so it is not very often that you have to take leave to write tests or exams,’ said Conradie.

The lecturers are extremely professional and the quality of education and assessment is of a high standard, according to Conradie. ‘I am sure that Akademia’s PGCE programme will only get better and I would recommend any student who wishes to complete this programme to study at Akademia.’

His advice to working students who are deciding to study is to first realise that success in their field of study rests squarely on their own shoulders. ‘For that reason, you need to be willing to work hard and to remain positive.’

Jaco Conradie, top achiever of the class of 2021’s PGCE programme and Afrikaans teacher at Hoërskool Drie Riviere, discusses his positive study journey at Akademia.