Promoting excellence in teaching in health education through the development of partnerships
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INTRODUCTION: The Faculty of Community and Health Sciences (FCHS) reviewed its curricula for 1994, allowing the Primary Health Care (PHC) approach to be the foundation of teaching and learning in health. To institutionalize a PHC approach, the teaching methodology of service-learning which is premised on the development of partnerships, proved useful in realizing the faculty's goal. AIM: The aim of this study was to identify how to ensure that partnerships develop optimally and in a sustainable fashion to promote excellence and relevance in teaching and development of professional skills in FCHS. Methods: A qualitative study was employed using focus groups with the partners in 2 service-learning programmes in FCHS. RESULTS: Key findings included that capacity building programmes for all partners promotes good training and education in health sciences; partners' roles should be clarified and it's imperative that formalized partnership agreements exist to ensure collaboration and enhance teaching. CONCLUSION: Service-learning serves as an impetus to move higher education in the direction of multi-disciplinarity.