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Are you trying to become a prolific writer? Here are excellent guidelines that will teach you how to improve writing skills. Writing is a vital skill for any student. Actually, you get to develop the basic writing skills very early in life and continue to advance as you grow older. You cannot compare your writing skills when in high school and when you join college and the university. There is always an improvement as you get exposed to more complex academic works. These skills continue to grow and no one can boast of having reached the optimum writing skill level.

However, we can get to develop such a notion at a stage in life. We don’t believe that we can be better than what we are now. This is a very wrong belief that you should refrain from. Even Shakespeare may not be the best author if he were still alive today. There are people with better creativity and skills and even the best today may not be the best tomorrow. There is always room for improvement. If you develop a comfort zone and stop working on your writing skills, you will be surprised at how much the rest will have grown.

There is certainly a need to develop your skills further at any point and time. How do you improve your writing skills? This guide has a few simple tips that will assist you to be a better writer.

Read Often

You cannot improve your writing skills if you don’t read. Reading assists you to improve on your language and to get more ideas on what to write. This does not necessarily mean that you should read academic stuff. Sometimes you should read a novel instead of watching a movie and this will impact your writing skills positively. Reading also improves your creativity and enables you to be a captivating writer.

Practice

Practice makes perfect. You should try to write from time to time so as to maintain your pre-existing skills and even develop them further. A new idea or method of writing always comes up when facing a new writing challenge. Actually, the essay you write today may not be as good as the one you write tomorrow. Practicing helps to develop consistency and enables your skills to grow. You don’t have to wait for official school assignments to write an essay. Make it a fun activity and write simply because you have some free time. It can even be a letter to an imaginary person. The end result will be a great improvement in your writing skills.

Research, Write, Read And Edit Your Work

These are the basic steps that can your ordinary writing skills extraordinary. You must take time to research about the topic and create strong points to write about. This will make it much easier to write and you will be able to focus on using quality language. Finally, reading and editing the work will enable you to correct the mistakes and create a superb essay. Try to follow these steps whenever you are writing and you will be outstanding.

These tips will assist you to improve your writing skills. Do not rest while others are growing. Follow these tips and give yourself the chance to grow as a writer.

March 21st is a day for millions of South Africans come together to commemorate the nation’s annual Human Rights Day: an occasion historically connected to the peaceful protest against Pass Laws which took place on March 21st 1960, in Sharpeville, and also during which police brutally killed 69 and injured 180 participating civilians. The day, in spite of its painfully significant turn of events, was a bold affirmation by ordinary South Africans of their personal dignity and uncompromising willingness to defend their basic human rights.

As a social entrepreneur working to defend the right to education for the most marginalised communities in South Africa, I am inspired to celebrate this Human Rights Day in gratitude to the martyrs who fought for our freedom in 1960, while also reflecting on my own personal - and our collective - role in furthering our country’s much celebrated constitution. Twenty four years into our democracy, South Africa certainly has many incredible milestones to celebrate and yet, this year’s Human Rights Day theme “The Year of O.R. Tambo: Unity in Action in Advancing Human Rights” suggests a deep call-to-action for us to unite in our strides towards furthering the basic human rights and dignity of all our citizens.  Nowhere is such a need for unity greater than in the intersection between human rights and education; the crucial sector underpinning the progress of every society.

In my work as an inclusive education specialist and human rights activist for, particularly, persons living with disability, I have seen firsthand the detrimental effect that exclusion from basic education can have on the most marginalised and impoverished communities in our country. Education, as a basic human right, is the single most important element to advancing our society and one which the state must, by any means necessary, make available and accessible to all. With the Human Rights Watch reporting in 2015 that an estimated 500 000 children living with disability in South Africa are not in school, the issue of inclusive and accessible education is becoming increasingly urgent and the need for intervention more pressing than before.

The need for change in our education system, as a crucial catalyst to the advancement of human rights in our country, undoubtedly presents many challenges; but within such challenges also lies unique opportunities for improving the lives of millions of  marginalised South Africans living below the poverty line. I wish to present a few recommendations, both to the state and to the ordinary South African eager to make a difference, as we unite to advance human rights in our society and, most importantly, the basic right to education for all.

Firstly, I wish to appeal to the state to prioritise its engagement with and support of private sector education organisations whose mission is directly aligned to that of the state’s education policies and goals. Such engagement will not only increase the private sector's eagerness to impact the education system at a grassroots level, but it will also strengthen the state’s capacity to meet the growing needs of our education system with the input and expertise of the most experienced members of our society.

Secondly, in order for the private sector to make any meaningful contribution to advancing the right to education for all in South Africa, more accurate and transparent data on the current status of education in our country needs to be updated regularly and made available to the public without discretion. Proper, data-driven knowledge of the extent to which the right to education is reinforced and implemented in our society will allow grassroots changemakers and private sector organisations the opportunity to create more informed and innovate solutions to increasing access to education for all.

Thirdly, and lastly, to the public members of our society: let today be an inspiration for us all to make a unique promise to honour the human rights of our family members, extended community and society at large by practicing the common human philosophy that ties us all together - ubuntu. Change is only possible when the individual serves the collective with the greater good of all humanity at the forefront of each and every one of our actions. As we work towards a better future for every South African, let us us not forget the cost of our current freedom and the work which still lies ahead of us in making sure that our country is truly a rainbow nation for all. It all begins with the realisation of the basic human rights and dignity of our fellow citizens and the responsibility each of us has to be our brother’s keeper especially on this monumental Human Rights Day.

To make your voice heard in the fight against unequal access to education for 500 000 South African children living with disability , sign Kula Education’s petition today.

Mpho MacChambers is a Human Rights and disabilities advocate. She is the president of Kula Education Group, a hybrid social enterprise pioneering innovative and sustainable approaches to inclusive education, training and skills development for a population of over four million South Africans living with a disability.

Meninigtis Association of South Africa (MASA)  is delighted to annouced,South Africa's 2nd National Meningitis Awareness Day on Friday 21 April 

Everyone incl schools and corporates can show their support by wearing something orange!!

Start ordering your R10 sticker!!

Click here for more information. 

At the start of each year, we as South Africans focus our full attention on the successes, and failures, of the education system as marked by the Matric results. We celebrate the individual shining examples of extraordinarily bright students, of inspiring principals that produce amazing results against all the odds, and take a step back to assess how we are doing. This year, many commentators rightly noted that the roots of educational success lie in early childhood, and that to produce equal educational outcomes we must increase our attention and investment into quality early learning. This investment would have exponential returns for our people and society at large.
 
But a singular focus on early childhood development without a simultaneous commitment to young people would be foolish. One of our greatest opportunities as a society is to seize the enormous potential of our young population through ensuring that all young people are able to connect to opportunities – and stick in them – that set them up to be employed for their lifetimes. At the moment, over half of all young people never get this chance.
 
Take, for example, Siyabonga Mbaba – a bright-eyed 23-year-old living in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. Siyabonga is officially a ‘NEET’ (a person Not in Employment, Education or Training). In fact, half of young people between 21 and 25 fall into this category – many of them the recent Matriculants, and those who dropped out of school before even reaching Matric.
 
But this label, which describes only the deficits in his life, doesn’t capture a full reality – Siyabonga is probably one of the busiest and most productive people you will ever meet: he volunteers at two orphanages in Khayelitsha; he runs a reading club with young children, which he brings alive with his love of language and dramatic skills; he dances whenever he can in informal and formal productions; and he works with artists to try and develop an enterprise and gain some income. For many young people like Siyabonga this is their ‘hustle’ – and for a while, it can work out. But for too many young people a real, imminent, and substantive opportunity always seems to slip over the horizon.
 
We know there are many structural reasons why this happens: the economy is struggling to sustain current jobs, never mind grow new opportunities; a significant number of young people never attain basic educational qualifications such as a Matric certificate, and there are almost no pathways to further education or opportunities without it (even the large-scale youth employability programmes evaluated in a recent study by the University of Johannesburg all required a Matric certificate as an entry point); and transport and communications costs are far too high for young people to sustain work-seeking for long periods of time.
 
These structural constraints seem to have constrained even our ability to imagine what our country could feel like if we really seized the opportunity our young people present. While the broader dynamics take a long time to change, there are a number of things that we can do right now.
 
Most young people are disconnected from social networks, advice, and mentoring that can aid them in successfully navigating the complex pathways from school to work. In their fascinating book ‘Growing Up in the New South Africa’, Bray et al[9] note the different ways in which adolescents in Fish Hoek and Masiphumelele spoke about their future careers. Young people in Masi’ could identify what they wanted to become and that, in general, they had to work hard at school to get there. So did the kids in Fish Hoek. But they had a secret weapon: without fail they could think of someone in their family’s network who had that career they were pursuing; they could think of people who would be able to advise them and help them make decisions about their options, and as a result, they could identify the precise path they would need to take to ensure their success. This kind of confidence, knowledge and ‘suss’ is developed in human relationships and networks – which is why mentoring can be one of the most powerful tools to change the trajectory of someone’s life. 
 
There are over 600 000 formal SMMEs, and over 130 000 NPOs, in South Africa – imagine if just half of them took on a single young person and provided them with substantial work experience; if they provided a personalised reference letter, and some basic advice on where to seek opportunities. If we could make this happen, we would create opportunity for at least 10% of the current NEET population and make a huge dent on the current crisis.
 
Contrary to all our popular stereotypes, most young people are like Siyabonga: they’re hustling hard to live a meaningful life, make a contribution, and earn an income of some kind. Too often, as society, we solely blame these young people for their unemployment – and yes, Siyabonga failed Matric, which means the odds of him getting a formal job are very low – rather than seeing the extent of their resilience in a brutal and unforgiving socio-economic system. It is crucial that we change this dynamic if we are to make any headway in stimulating a positive and innovative response to high youth unemployment. It’s time that we as citizens, companies, and decision-makers step up for young people and get into their corner – it’s the only way our people, economy, and society will flourish.
 
Janet Jobson is the Innovation Director at the DG Murray Trust. For more information about DGMT and its Create Change series on how we can build real and imminent possibility for young people, visit youth.dgmt.co.za. This article originally appeared in The Star, 6 February 2017.

Presidents of Mexico, Ecuador, South Africa and Zimbabwe, but not those of America, Canada or Britain, join Cubans to say goodbye to revolutionary.

With sombre speeches and a thunder of cannon, Havana held a mass eulogy for Fidel Castro on Tuesday night in a ceremony that underscored the polarising influence of the dead Cuban revolutionary.

President Raul Castro, dressed in his military uniform, led the memorial for his brother, who seized power in 1959 and turned the Caribbean island into a bastion of anti-imperialism and a focus of Cold War tensions with the United States.

Ideological allies, including Venezuela’s Nicholas Maduro, Bolivia’s Evo Morales, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and South Africa’s Jacob Zuma came in person to say farewell to Castro, who died on Friday aged 90, whilst nations on the other side of the political divide sent lower-ranking representatives.

“We and our self-sacrificing, combative and heroic people say to you: Ever onward to victory,” Castro said in a tribute to his brother.

Castro embraced Maduro, his ideological ally, as the ceremony got underway.

“They could overcome neither Fidel, nor the people of Cuba nor the dreams and hopes of this great nation,” Maduro said in a tribute, chanting a refrain about the iconic revolutionary fending off imperialists that the crowd then finished.

“He fulfilled his mission on this earth,” he added. “Few lives have been so complete, so bright. He has left unconquered.”

As well as tens of thousands of Cubans, the great and the good of the nation’s cultural and sporting world were also in attendance. Among them was Ana Fidelia Quirot, a two-time world 800m champion, who arrived in the colours of the national athletics team.

She recalled how Castro had visited her bedside every day while she was recovering from a life-threatening accident. “In my toughest moments he was always there for me,” she said. “I have come to honour an exceptional humanist. He may not be here physically but he will stay in my heart.”

A group of elderly veterans paused on their way to the square to share reminiscences and sentiments as chants of “Viva Fidel!” resounded.

Eighty-year-old Armando Vasquez fought for Castro in the Sierra Maestra in the early days of the revolution. “He was like a father. When he gave an order you knew you could do it, because he had already showed that it could be done.”

Another pulled out his wallet and showed the Castro photograph he keeps inside. “Look at this. I don’t keep a picture of my wife or daughter. That’s how much Fidel means to me,” said Gilberto Gonzalez. “We Cubans have been privileged to have a leader like this.”

Sandra Calvo – a Cuban-Mexican resident – arrived with her sister Patricia, pushing her 11-month-old son who was holding a Cuba flag. “It’s the end of an era but something more than that,” she said.

“I am a graduate of political science and I can’t think of any case where the loss of a former president has generated so much genuine sadness. People aren’t forced to come here. They want to respect him and his achievements. There aren’t many countries where people can become doctors and philosophers regardless of their economic position.”

Raul Castro closed the rally with a speech thanking world leaders for their words of praise for his brother, who he called the leader of a revolution “for the humble, and by the humble.”

Earlier in the day, lines stretched for hours outside the Plaza of the Revolution, the heart of government power and the place where Castro delivered fiery speeches to mammoth crowds after he seized power.

In Havana and across the island people signed condolence books and an oath of loyalty to Castro’s sweeping May 2000 proclamation of the Cuban revolution as an unending battle for socialism, nationalism and an outsize role for the island on the world stage.

Tribute sites were set up in hundreds of places across the island as the government urged Cubans to reaffirm their belief in a socialist, single-party system that in recent years has struggled to maintain the fervour that was widespread at the triumph of the 1959 revolution.

Many mourners came on their own accord to Havana but thousands were sent in groups by the communist government, which still employs about 80% of the working people in Cuba despite the growth of the private sector under Raul.

Cuban state media reported that an urn containing Castro’s ashes was being kept in a room at the defence ministry where Raul Castro and top Communist party officials paid tribute the previous evening.

Inside the memorial thousands walked through three rooms with near-identical displays featuring the 1962 Alberto Korda photograph of the young Castro in the Sierra Maestra mountains, bouquets of white flowers and an array of Castro’s medals against a black backdrop, framed by honour guards of soldiers and children in school uniforms. The ashes of the 90-year-old former president did not appear to be on display.

Signs read: “The Cuban Communist party is the only legitimate heir of the legacy and authority of the commander in chief of the Cuban Revolution, comrade Fidel Castro.”

“Goodbye commander. Your ideas remain here with us,” 64-year-old retiree Etelbina Perez said between sobs, dabbing at her eyes with a brown handkerchief. “I feel great pain over his death. I owe my entire life to him. He brought me out of the mountains. I was able to study thanks to him.”

The White House announced on Tuesday that Obama would not send a presidential delegation. Instead, the United States will be represented by Jeffrey DeLaurentis, chief diplomat at the US embassy in Havana, and Ben Rhodes, an Obama aide who represented the United States in 18 months of secret talks that led to detente.

African leaders included Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe. Mugabe, 92, himself a former Marxist guerrilla who has led Zimbabwe as prime minister or president since 1980 despite financial and health crises, praised Fidel Castro’s government for having trained thousands of Zimbabwean doctors and teachers.

“Fidel was not just your leader. He was our leader and the leader of all revolutionaries. We followed him, listened to him and tried to emulate him,” Mugabe told reporters as he arrived in Havana. “Farewell, dear brother. Farewell, revolutionary,” he said.

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