The ‘Report of the Ministerial Committee on Transformation and Social Cohesion and the Elimination of Discrimination in Public Higher Education Institutions’ investigates discrimination in public higher education institutions, with a particular focus on racism, and makes appropriate recommendations to combat discrimination and promote social cohesion.
The high prevalence of bullying in schools has prompted the Gauteng Education Department to devise new policies to curb the scourge.
MEC for Education Barbara Creecy has said a new policy dealing with safety in schools was being developed. It would be made public within a few months.
Creecy said she had asked policy experts to look specifically at bullying and ways of dealing with it so that cases can be resolved sooner. One possibility was instating truancy officers and appointing school social workers within five years.
The Ministerial Committee’s report on transformation and social cohesion and the elimination of discrimination in public higher education institutions, released recently, is one of the most comprehensive and balanced reports on the conditions undermining social cohesion, successful integration and, particularly, academic performance at our universities.
Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande, has called for the internationalisation of higher education to be managed to help African countries avert a brain drain.
Speaking during the 2009 World Conference on Higher Education in Paris, Nzimande told delegates that this is part of the result of poor access to education in some African countries.
According to a conference paper, in 2007 over 2.8 million students were enrolled in higher educational institutions outside their country of origin - a 53 percent increase since 1999.
The Minister of Women, Children and Persons with Disability, Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya, says refugee children should have access to education in South Africa.
"I urge you as children to also take responsibility to attend school because without education, it will be extremely difficult to make it in life anywhere in the world,"
She was addressing about 150 South African children and child refugees in Bela Bela, Limpopo, who had gathered to celebrate the Day of the African Child and World Refugee Day.
The education of an African child cannot be negotiated or postponed. This is according to Gauteng Premier, Nomvula Mokonyane.
Mokonyane, whose comments follow last week’s protest by Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) members who disrupted classes demanding appointment letters be signed for their preferred principals, was addressing members of school governing bodies and parents at the Soweto College of Education.
The University of Cape Town vice-chancellor, Max Price, says making education free to all undergraduate students will reduce universities revenue by 30 percent.
Price argues that the move will also deprive universities of important sources of revenue in the form of fees from students who can afford to pay them as well as from the private sector which gives financial support to students.
The Zimbabwean education ministry has announced that mid-year schools examination have been postponed for a month due to lack of funding by international donors.
Education Minister David Coltart states that the government is struggling to raise the US$350 000 needed to finance the administration of the examinations.
"I have put a variety of funding applications to donors, but we are still yet to get responses," says Coltart.
As the 2009 South African elections came to a close in April, it should not be forgotten that poverty alleviation remains one of the most important concerns for the country. South Africa has seen waves of social unrest from its poorest and most marginalised citizens over the past 18 months, some of these demonstrations resulting in violence.
Education Minister Naledi Pandor says government funding of higher education has risen sharply in recent years and is expected to continue to increase at rates above inflation.
Pandor points out that in the 2009/10 financial year, the government will provide funding of up to R19.3 billion to public higher education, R4.1 billion more than that spent in 2007/08.