schooling

CASAC’s Open Letter to Simelane

The Council for the Advancement of South African Constitution (CASAC) has written an open letter to the national director of public prosecutions (NPA), Menzi Simelane, expressing its ‘grave concern’ about his decision to prosecute the female learner in the Jules High School sexual offences matter.

SASAC executive secretary, Lawson Naidoo, is of the view that the constitutional right of the female learner will be violated in the event of her being prosecuted.

A Culture in Crisis – Reading in Post-Apartheid South Africa

It is now commonly accepted that there is a deep crisis regarding the ‘culture of reading” in South Africa. Only a very small section of the public reads and buys books, there is a virtual collapse of library services, and publishing in black languages continues to struggle 16 years after the end of apartheid.

The indices of this crisis are equally well-known:

  • Only a very small section of the public reads and buys books – both for leisure (fiction) and self-education or self-advancement (non-fiction)

Are Men Really Better in Business than Women?

The latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor shows that in South Africa men are 1.6 times more likely to succeed as business owners than women.

This shocking statistic is reported to be a particularly South African phenomenon. Amongst other things, it appears to be related to low levels in self-belief amongst women that they have the knowledge, skills and experience to start and succeed in business.

GDE to Shut and Merge Rural Schools

The Gauteng Department of Education has announced that six rural schools in Merafong, south-west of Johannesburg will be shut down and merged with other schools.

In a press statement, the department says that, “All these schools are on privately-owned land and have inconsistent water supply, some without electricity, have multi-grade teaching and many other challenges relating to the provision of quality education and the well-being of learners.”

NGO: Stadiums or Libraries

Equal Education (EE) says the money spent on Cape Town's soccer World Cup stadium would have paid for 9 000 school libraries.

EE, which is running a campaign to provide schools with libraries, says it recognises that the Western Cape education department had to make hard choices.

In a press statement, the organisation says that it does not claim that school libraries should take precedence over creating new schools or new teaching posts.

Learners March to Demand Libraries

More than 10 000 learners have gathered in Cape Town's Grand Parade on Human Rights Day to demand that the government provides libraries for every school in the country.

Equal Education (EE) spokesperson, Yoliswa Dwane, whose organisation spearheaded the school library campaign nationally and coordinated the march, points out that Grand Parade was filled to capacity, adding that, "You couldn't even see a bare patch of ground -- the place was covered with learners in their school uniforms."

NFSAS Struggles to Recover Funds

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has to date recovered just over a quarter of the R12-billion it has loaned to poor students.

In its latest report releasing in Cape Town, NSFAS has recovered only R3.2 billion [26 percent] of the total R12 billion in funds it has loaned -- the second-lowest recovery ratio globally among student financial aid schemes.

Call for More Grants for Poor Students

Students qualifying for state funding could get R43 000 a year from the National Students’ Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) if a proposal made to the Department of Higher Education is accepted by the Cabinet.

Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande, says he accepted the recommendations of a report into higher education funding, adding that this is a matter for the Cabinet to debate when his department submit its final proposal, probably by August.

Jansen Calls for New School of Thinking

According to Jonathan Jansen, University of the Free State vice-chancellor, it is time to concede that government does not have the capacity or the courage to change our schools in vast parts of this country.

Jansen is of the view that universities should take over 50 of the worst-performing schools in their provinces, take the responsibility of on-site teacher training, of direct career counselling and subject choice decisions in Grades 10 and upwards.

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