Maropeng prioritises heritage at African Education Week exhibition

  • June 18, 2013

Tony Rubin, managing director of Maropeng, says the educational resource packs available to schools are carefully integrated with the South African education curriculum and endorsed by the National Department of Education.

The African Education Week exhibition will be taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre from 20 to 22 June 2013. Maropeng, the official visitor centre for the Cradle of Humankind, will be one of the exhibitors and has the unique task of showcasing the wealth of local heritage it is guardian to, as well as the importance of this in understanding the history of humankind.

"Just a short 45-minute drive from Johannesburg or Pretoria, the Cradle of Humankind is one of only eight World Heritage Sites in South Africa and the only one in Gauteng, declared so because of its contribution to our understanding of humanity. More than 1 000 hominid fossils have been found in the 47 000ha area – more than any other place on Earth," says Tony Rubin, managing director of Maropeng.

"Learners of all ages and teachers should pay it a visit to not only learn about their ancestors and this important heritage right on their doorsteps, but also how to care for their planet now and into the future."

At the interactive Maropeng Visitor Centre, learners can explore the world-renowned Sterkfontein Caves and discover the wonderful world of our past, as well as what the future may hold.

"The underground boat ride is always a hit with learners, and we have gone to great lengths to ensure that our educational displays are not only informative, but fun too. Learners also have the opportunity to view real fossil displays, which are a good way of bringing the history of our ancestors to life," adds Rubin.

Resource packs, available to schools and given to teachers to use as guides, will enhance the learners' Cradle experience, ensuring the excursion is educational, interactive and fun. The curriculum-linked resource packs are brimming with fascinating and practical educational material such as worksheets and suggested activities.

Samples of these packs will be available to educators at the exhibition, allowing them to prepare learners before they visit the Cradle of Humankind, and to give them follow-up assignments afterwards.

"The pack is carefully integrated with the South African education curriculum and has been endorsed by the National Department of Education," says Rubin. "Learners at any level, studying any learning area and field, will be able to engage with appropriate content. It has been specifically designed for teachers to structure their own educational excursion in order to gain the most possible from their experience."

Hominid House at Maropeng offers comfortable budget accommodation for school, sporting and tour groups. The four dormitory-style rooms sleep up to 120 children or adults, with separate communal bathrooms for boys and girls.

Guides, teachers and leaders are accommodated in neatly appointed single rooms. Meals are served in the public dining area and packed lunches can be arranged on request. Sporting equipment is provided for activities like volleyball, table tennis, basketball and mini-cricket. A slip-and-slide is a popular activity during summer.

"There is also the option of additional educational and fun activities for learners, such as stargazing and other outdoor activities, including a specialised tour with a scientist or a tour to an excavation site. So, educators, round up your learners and bring them to the Cradle of Humankind for an exciting adventure!" concludes Rubin.

Harry the Hominid, Maropeng's official mascot, will be at the Maropeng stand to meet and greet visitors as well as provide information on the many educational offerings available. To book your 2013 class outing or find out more about the educational tours on offer, visit Maropeng's stand (F18) at the African Education Week exhibition, or alternatively go to


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