This article appeared in The Herald of 11 December 2015 - written by Devon Koen.
HIGH ACHIEVERS: Vice-chancellor scholarship recipients Tarryn Lovemore, left, and Trudi van Olm enjoy the moment after graduating at NMMU yesterday
Consisting of mainly BTech, postgraduate and education students, spread across all seven faculties, the ceremonies hosted yesterday and today at NMMU’s Indoor Sports Centre followed the 6 238 students who graduated in April.
Kicking off proceedings for the two ceremonies held yesterday, NMMU vice-chancellor Professor Derrick Swartz said it was not an easy journey for students “both emotionally and personally” in their “intellectual endeavour”.
“This is your opportunity to gain a qualification to go out there and make a difference,” he said.
Steering the way for education in the Eastern Cape and South Africa, NMMU’s faculty of education awarded under- and postgraduate qualifications to more than 300 students.
After achieving excellence throughout high school, two bachelor of education (BEd) graduates who were awarded the coveted vice-chancellor scholarship for their excellent matric results, both walked across the stage yesterday afternoon.
Tarryn Lovemore and Trudi van Olm, both 22, passed their BEd intermediate phase in science and mathematics degrees cum laude.
Lovemore, who grew up on a farm outside Paterson, said she had always had a passion for education.
“I come from a very small farm [primary] school and my inspiration was my teachers,” she said.
Attending Collegiate High School for Girls in Port Elizabeth, Lovemore met Van Olm in Grade 8 where they became friends, but never discussed studying education together.
Van Olm said her inspiration for teaching came from her Grade 2 teacher at Herbert Hurd Primary School.
Both Van Olm and Lovemore said they were excited about starting work next year and hoped to teach in rural or community schools.
“I am desperate to teach in rural areas,” Lovemore said.
Van Olm said she did not mind where she taught, but would also prefer community or rural schools.
Education faculty executive dean Dr Muki Moeng said it took a “certain kind of student with such wonderful [school-leaving] marks to want to come to education”.
“I really appreciate it when we have students of such calibre who want to make a difference in others’ lives . . . it’s not just about the money – they want to make a change,” Moeng said.
The faculty also awarded three doctoral qualifications and four masters degrees yesterday.
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