Building a school hall : opportunities for services for service-learning and partnerships in an engineering faculty
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The purpose of this research was to investigate service-learning opportunities and possible collaboration between higher education students and lecturers located in the department of the Built Environment and the school community in a project that involved the building of a school hall. The school halls are generally needed as they accommodate a wide range of school and community activities and serve as bridges that link the school and the wider public. The study also attempted to develop a framework to guide the implementation of service-learning projects in third-year courses of the National Diploma: Building which include quantity surveying, construction technology and construction management. The study made use of literature that describes the civic roles and social responsibilities of higher education in general and the expected role of higher education in socio-economic development of the South African communities in particular. Literature on the need for increased participation, collaboration, partnership formation and development of service-learning programmes in order to address the socio-economic and educational developmental needs of both communities and students was also consulted. Reference was also made to literature on building projects and the building process. The researcher used qualitative approaches and data production methods to get information from the school teachers, learners, students and lecturers through interviews in order to establish if the participants were willing to work together in the school building project and how they thought the school and the higher education institution could benefit from such collaboration. An observation schedule and photographs were also used to gather information relating to the process of building a school hall.