Tag Archives: education

University of Cape Town – the Groote Schuur Campus

UCT Groote Schuur Campus

On 7 October 1983, the University of Cape Town's Groote Schuur (translated as "big barn") Campus was declared a national monument.

Originally, in 1829, South African College (later renamed to University of Cape Town) trained students in a building in Long Street. In 1841 they moved to Government Avenue, before finally taking occupation of the Groote Schuur campus in 1928.

Today, the buildings remind me of those old English school buildings that you'd expect to find Harry Potter frequenting. The campus is definitely worth a visit, so if you have some time on your hands to walk around and observe students in their natural habitat, make a turn past the Groote Schuur Campus - here's a map to this exact spot. :)

The Argo Sea|mester training vessel

Argo, a training yacht belonging to Seamester Global
This is Argo, a yacht belonging to Seamester Global. Seamester, based in the USA, offers experiential nautical training - students spend a semester at sea, learning a wide range of skills and visiting places that they would otherwise probably only read about. Can you imagine what an amazing experience this must be? What a way to discover the world! If I had a child leaving school and considering taking a gap year, I think this would be high on my list of suggestions to them.

You can follow the activities of the students on board the Argo, by reading their regular blog posts and listening to their audio updates here.

School with a view

Stellenberg High School

A couple of months ago I mentioned that I used to have a great view of the R300 fly-overs from my high-school classroom window. Well, here's another rather pretty view from my old school, Stellenberg High.

I can't say that I spent much time on the field in the picture, except for when some sort of non-sporting special event was being held there - I was not particularly strong in the hand-eye co-ordination department, so sport was not my thing. I do remember spending many a spring afternoon playing "social tennis" on the tennis courts from which this photo was taken, though. (I played "social netball" for a while as well, and even "social squash" - basically, that's what they called it when you weren't good enough to be on an actual team.)

To be honest, I think my friends and I got more exercise from laughing at one another's incompetence with the racquet than from actually hitting the ball. Good times. :)

Kristo Pienaar Environmental Education Centre

Kristo Pienaar Environmental Education Centre

The building in the foreground is the Kristo Pienaar Environmental Education Centre, and at the bottom of the pathway you can see the main gate of the Tygerberg Nature Reserve.

Kristo Pienaar was a well-known (and popular) South African botanist, probably most famous for encouraging South African gardeners to make use of indigenous plants in their gardens. He was a multi-talented man, though - some of the best South African reference books on gardening were written by him, he was a university professor, he presented Veld Fokus on SABC's 50/50 (a TV programme that covered all sorts of ecology-related topics) for a few years, and he was even the mayor of Bellville at one stage!

He died in 1996, at the age of 73.