What Our Graduates Have To Say About SACAP - Aisha Jacobs - SACAP
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What our graduates have to say about SACAP – Aisha Jacobs

Mar 06, 2024 | By Venessa Dace
Aisha Jacobs, SACAP PGCE graduate
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What was your favourite activity growing up? Aisha Jacobs, 22, says she spent countless hours playing teacher-teacher in her backyard. Becoming an educator was her dream job. Decades later it still is.

Aisha recently completed SACAP’s first Postgraduate Certificate in Education in Senior Phase and Further Education and Training Teaching (PGCE) programme. As part of its inaugural cohort, we are keen to discover what she thought of the course. Also, importantly, whether she feels the qualification has made an impact on her career trajectory.

So, we asked her. Here’s what she has to say…

Young love

By the time Aisha reached high school her teacher aspirations had ignited a more general passion for helping people. “I decided I was going to study psychology,” she recalls.

Drawn to its small and interactive classes, she chose to enrol at SACAP and completed her Bachelor of Applied Social Science at the Johannesburg Campus. “I loved my psychology major!” Aisha exclaims. “However, the actual counselling part for me was very draining.”

“I had empathy for peoples’ problems, but often I simply couldn’t understand why they would put themselves into adverse situations,” she says. “Relationship troubles, for example. I think my approach was too straight forward – I believe these are situations a person can use their common sense to get out of.”

Growing passion

While counselling didn’t prove to be a high point for Aisha, her undergraduate experience confirmed her passion for psychology. She decided to continue her studies at SACAP and applied to study the honours programme. Unfortunately – possibly fortuitously in hindsight – her application was submitted too late for it to be considered.

“I felt like the whole world had come to an end,” she admits. “I remember thinking: ‘what am I going to do now?’ Fortunately, someone from SACAP’s admin team told me about the brand-new PGCE course the college was about to introduce.”

“When I heard that the programme was geared towards education and that I qualified to enrol, I jumped at the opportunity.” Aisha says. “The prospect of pursuing a course in which psychology and education go hand in hand was thrilling!”

Ripe rewards

“I can say that I had a smile on my face the entire year,” Aisha asserts when we quiz her about whether she thinks her decision to register for the PGCE course was a good one. “While counselling adults in my Work Integrated Learning (WIL) experience during my undergraduate hadn’t really been my thing, I really enjoyed my PGCE practicums.”

SACAP’s PGCE programme facilitates hands-on school-based WIL in the first and second terms of the course. Students can choose to teach pupils in Senior phase: Grade 7 to 9, or Further Education and Training phase (FET): Grade 10 to 12.

“I completed both WIL modules at Curro in Johannesburg,” Aisha explains. “I chose to work with students in the FET phase, and I absolutely loved every single second of it!”

“Interacting with kids who are going through all kinds of transitional phases was an enormous highlight,” she continues. “They’re struggling to find themselves and they have all these questions… I was there too once upon a time, so it was just amazing to be able to relate to them.”

“What’s more, the experience was hugely rewarding. Pupils came up to me after class thanking me for changing their perspectives. It really confirmed that helping kids is where I want to be.”

Taking stock

We asked Aisha to rate the academic content of SACAP’s PGCE course material. “I would give it a solid 7.5 out of 10,” she says. “As the first group to enrol in the programme we were guinea pigs, and we did experience one or two hiccups.”

One of the most pertinent, she says, was receiving training in only one core school subject – Life Orientation (LO). “While this was given alongside tuition in Guidance Counselling and Specialised Learning Support, training in a second school subject would have been beneficial.”

Fortunately, SACAP has responded to Aisha’s feedback and that given by others in the inaugural cohort. PGCE students can now also elect to study English together with LO.  “I think it’s fantastic that the English elective has been added because graduates will have a better chance of getting a job,” she notes.

Positive outlook

Aisha’s five-year plan? “I’m going to upskill by adding a TEFL course to my CV,” she says. “When applying for posts I’ve noticed a greater demand for candidates that teach LO plus English or another subject, as I mentioned earlier.”

“With this added qualification I’m hoping to get a job in a high school,” she continues. “I plan to work my way up and become a guidance counsellor and then maybe even a child psychologist.”

She’s not letting go of psychology, Aisha adds. “I would love to come back to SACAP and do my honours someday.”

Wheel of fortune

Aisha’s outlook has come full circle. Her childhood dream of becoming a teacher seeded her passion for helping people and blossomed into confirmation of her true calling: working with children.

Learning support, psychoeducation, and transformative counselling are desperately lacking in South African mainstream schools. SACAP’s PGCE programme offers graduates a rewarding opportunity to contribute to our country’s educational landscape.

Want to make a positive impact like Aisha? Find out how now.

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