schooling

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.

NGO Helps Build Classrooms

Human Help Network Rwanda (HHN), a NGO that promotes sustainable human, social and economic development has handed over a six-classroom block it built in Karama Sector, Huye district.

With technical expertise from the partnership between Rhineland-Palatinate and Rwanda, HHN also constructed latrines and provided clean water to the over 1 400 pupils of the school.

SAIRR Backs Free Education Call

The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) says the demand for free education by students at higher education institutions is justifiable considering the high number of students who dropped out because they could not afford higher education.

SAIRR deputy CEO, Frans Cronje, says the students’ protests raised questions about how the government prioritised its programmes.

Department Focuses on Pupils’ Performances

The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) has announced that it will this year focus on pupil’s performances in schools.

MEC Barbara Creecy says that, “Our president and our premier have made it clear that by 2014 we need to ensure that learners leave primary schools able to read, write and achieve in basic mathematics.”
Creecy states that the province’s matric pass rate needs to improve, with a higher percentage of young people achieving a university entrance.

Soweto Teachers Receive Laptops

Teachers in Soweto were among the first in the country to receive laptops from iBurst in a Teacher Laptop Initiative.

Durban Deep Primary School principal, Sherrol Molete, who also receieved a laptop, says that, “As far as I am concerned, the laptop is a gift. I did not order it and was not aware that I was going to get it. It will help me with running the school.”

The initiative is part of the South African Democratic Teachers Union Soweto region has with iBurst.

KZN School Gets Zero Percent Pass Rate

The KwaZulu-Natal school which received a zero percent matric pass rate has had no principal since 2000 and has only six teachers -- three of whom were temporary, an education union said on Wednesday.

Zuzanawe High School in northern KwaZulu-Natal was one of the province’s four schools to receive a zero percent matric pass rate during the 2009 examinations.

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