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African Institute for Marine and Underwater Research, Exploration and Education

Our Outreach Program

The AIMURE is not only research orientated. The Institute also emphasizes education and does so in various ways. As part of its general public education programme, lectures are presented on a regular basis to sports and social clubs, societies, organizations and companies. Also articles that are written for non-academic publications fall into this category.

The AIMURE’s formal Outreach Programme

This is more specific than the general public education programme and consists of two parts.

1- Courses for Schools.

The AIMURE presents courses for schools at the Foundation, Intermediate and Senior Phase levels. These courses focus on archaeology and history, including hunter-gatherer societies and human evolution. By the same token, the courses touch on other subjects as well including: arts & culture, life orientation, mathematics, data handling, geography and biology.

The objective is to enrich education related to heritage and culture and to provide more background information. The courses comply with the Social Sciences curriculum for schools, adding an extra dimension. The outcomes are in line with the South African Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) and could be used by educators for assessment.

Each course consists of an inter-active lesson, consisting of an introduction, practical interactive activities, followed by consolidation and assessment. The courses are aimed specifically at learners from disadvantaged communities. To test the viability of the courses, a series of presentations were held. These met with overwhelmingly positive responses from both learners and educators.

2- The Social Development Programme (SDP).

The SDP focusses on skills development related to water and diving. Like the courses for schools, it also serves members from (previously) disadvantaged communities. The SDP is of great value as it develops basic life/survival skills (swimming) and contributes to people’s careers in the formative years. For the above reasons, the focus of the SDP is on teaching young people to swim and to dive, free of charge. This is done in a three tier approach consisting of: swimming courses; sport diving; and professional diving courses.

AIMURE has approached a special needs school in one of Cape Town’s poorest areas, to select willing and suitable candidates for the SDP. One of the reasons for this is that learners in a technical field such as construction or welding can benefit in a major way from becoming a commercial diver. Even though the majority of these learners are male, female learners are equally stimulated to take part, as they ultimately may find a job opportunity in the (sport) diving industry as instructors or dive guides, or as scientific divers employed by universities and musea. Formal certificates from recognized training institutions will be issued upon successful completion of each course component. This will also be of direct benefit to participants. At the time of writing, the learn to swim component was put into practise. Currently, 14 young people are being taught and the results to date are outstanding.

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