When we speak to friends many of them say, “When I was little I always wanted to be a Marine Biologist”. Sounds familiar? Well the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation has been making dreams come true, and working hard to offer Marine Sciences as a subject in schools. Their education team took it upon themselves to write a Marine Sciences curriculum which was approved by the South African Minister of Education in 2019. The subject has been successfully offered at a Grade 10 level at six pilot schools in the Western Cape province, and now rolling out to schools in other provinces. Students at these schools will be the first South Africans to write Marine Sciences as a Grade 12 Matric subject in 2022!
Russell Stevens is the Head of Education at the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation and has explained the following details: “Marine Sciences is now offered as an online course to interested students starting this year. Grade 10 students in 2021, from any province within South Africa, who have a real interest in the ocean. By arrangement with their school, such students may take the subject as one of their 7 Matric subjects or as an additional 8th Subject. This is also open to adults currently working in the Marine Tourism or similar workspace, inside or outside of South Africa.
Marine Sciences is made up of a range of topics, woven together in a transdisciplinary subject designed to educate students who have an interest in the ocean, its workings and the ocean’s influence on marine and land-based life. It is an ideal subject for those wishing to be employed in ocean-based industries after Matric or study further in the field of Marine Sciences.
It connects the realms of water, rocks, sediments, air, living organisms that inhabit the ocean, and their engagements with each other. It draws attention to ocean ecosystems and their sensitivity to human activity and resource use. Decision makers and the public need an increased awareness about the complex relationships that affect the ocean. The course will equip students with a thorough understanding, to think about ways to conserve and sustain the ocean for the future and is informed by the following four strands.” –
- Marine Biology
- Humans and the Ocean
Sustainability is foregrounded in the teaching of the entire subject and WWF-SASSI and the sustainable seafood consumer message features multiple times throughout the course! We couldn’t be more thrilled.