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There is never failure, only lessons - Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng

19 February 2021 2:49 PM
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UCT Vice-Chancellor Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng

The UCT vice-chancellor says there's a silver lining in the lockdown crisis that is forcing universities to re-align.

Azania Mosaka on The Upside of Failure speaks to the vice-chancellor at University of Cape Town, Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng, affectionately knows as FabAcademic.

She relates how she failed her first semester chemistry and biology modules when she was doing first year at university.

She also lost her job after serving as principal of a school for one year.

We are undergoing a challenge that is difficult to resist. Universities are change-averse. It is difficult to change anything at a university. There is a silver living in this crisis that is forcing us to re-align education. It made certain conversations unavoidable.

Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng, Vice-chancellor - UCT

There is never a failure, only a lesson. There is something in failure for me. I want to know what is in it for me. Failure is a huge opportunity.

Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng, Vice-chancellor - UCT

I failed two of the five modules I was registered for when I got to university. I went into university feeling comfortable about mathematics. When I went to counselling centre at the end of the semester I told them the truth.

Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng, Vice-chancellor - UCT

I took Setswana, mathematics and education. I was the only student in the faculty of arts majoring in pure mathematics.

Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng, Vice-chancellor - UCT

I was in my early 20s , 22 going for 23. I worked for one year at Hebron College of Education. I applied and got a job as an acting principal of a new high school. I work hard but can have fun with the pupils. The first year went well. They kids were paying R10.

Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng, Vice-chancellor - UCT

Teachers wanted to buy alcohol ahead of school athletics competitions and I said NO. The following week after assembly three boys came to and said :'We don't want you at the school because the teachers said you are not treating them well.' I did not want to engage with them.

Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng, Vice-chancellor - UCT

I drove my car, went to the circuit office and started volunteering teaching maths in schools around the area.

Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng, Vice-chancellor - UCT

Listen below for the full interview...




19 February 2021 2:49 PM
Tags:
UCT Vice-Chancellor Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng

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