Posted on November 30, 2009 · Posted in SF Fellow

My blog post about Mbilwi Secondary School triggered an unexpected blast from the past, I was contacted by Dr. Azwinndini Muronga. I used to be a member of the UCT-CERN Research Centre at the University of Cape Town while working on my PhD and have had very little contact with the unit since beginning at the Foundation. Azwinndini joined the unit while I was there and is now a senior lecturer at UCT.

It turns out that Mbilwi has been doing an excellent job of interesting its students in science for many years as Azwinndini was quick to point out that he too attended Mbilwi. Azwinndini mentioned the possibility of going back to the school to talk to the students and I suggested that we might be able to support the school with some of the OER resources we’re looking to print and I think we’ve got a great opportunity to spread OERs, create new partnerships and even get Mbilwi feeding back into the OER world.

It was nice to be able to reconnect with Azwinndini as we really have an opportunity to give Mbilwi further recognition for their achievements as well as give me an opportunity to work on the UCT Physics Department to think about the impact of OERs (hint, hint).

About the Author

Mark Horner is the CEO of Siyavula Education, a social enterprise working in the school sector in South Africa. While working as the Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow for Open and Collaborative Resources, Mark was able to transform the Free High School Science Texts (FHSST) project, which he co-founded, into Siyavula Education. In this process, openly-licensed, collaboratively authored textbooks have been printed and distributed nationally in South Africa. Working at the intersection of community, openness and technology; Mark intends to leverage this success to make Siyavula an innovative, technology provider in education that works effectively as part of the education community to ensure better learning opportunities for all. A recent notable event being the delivery of Siyavula's textbooks over Mxit, the most popular mobile chat solution in South Africa. Mark has a PhD in physics from the University of Cape Town and conducted his research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California on the results from the STAR experiment at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. His work is carried out in the belief that the liberation of information and support of education in South Africa will lead to a peaceful and prosperous future for all South Africans.