School @ the Centre of Community

John Volmink

John Volmink was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. He started his academic career at the University of the Western Cape and completed a PhD in Mathematics Education at Cornell University, Ithaca NY, United States of America in 1988.
John started his career as a high school teacher and later became the Head of Mathematics at the then Peninsula Technikon. He also held various other teaching positions at other institutions including the University of Western Cape, University of Cape Town and Cornell University.
After 25 years in the States and a brief stay at the University of Botswana, Gabarone, he returned to South Africa in 1991. He immediately got involved in development initiatives as the Director of the Centre for Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education in Durban. John later served as Campus Vice-Principal at the then University of Natal and thereafter, Pro-Vice Chancellor: Partnerships at the University of KwaZulu-Natal until 2004. During his term at the University of KwaZulu-Natal he was responsible for partnership programmes with business, government and the community and served as the Executive Director of the Development Foundation of the University.
John has also been centrally involved in curriculum reform in post-apartheid South Africa and has been asked by all four Ministers of Education to play a leading role in the transformation of education in the new South Africa.  He served as the Chairperson of the Umalusi Council for four years. More recently, he served as the CEO of the National Education Evaluation and Development Unit (NEEDU).
John is currently the Chairperson of MIET Africa. John continues to provide leadership on the boards of several other South African non-governmental development organisations involved in education, health and community upliftment. He has also been involved in a Leadership Development Programme for members of parliament and holds the position of Extraordinary Professor at North West University, Mafikeng Campus.
After 25 years away from Cape Town, John returned and refurbished the house in Athlone that he grew up in. John and his wife Engela, who was also a teacher, worked together in voluntary community based educational projects in the Athlone area with a focus on young people.


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