learning

Cronje Slammed Over ‘Bush College’ Comments

Is the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) ‘an agent of the Broederbond…a gatekeeper for white supremacist ideology?’

This was one of the questions and comments directed towards the liberal think-tank’s chief executive officer, Frans Cronje, after he tweeted: “UCT’s [University of Cape Town] reputation will take a step downwards after events of tonight. Can it recover or is it doomed to become Cape Town’s ‘bush college’?

SRC Raises Funds for Needy Students

An ambitious plan of the University of the Witwatersrand Student Representative Council (SRC) to raise R1 million for fellow students' tuition became reality.

This was after an individual donor gave R553 000 to help students from poor families who cannot get funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

NSFAS Gunning for Loan Defaulters

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is seeking to recover an estimated R8 billion from people who are defaulting on their student loans.

This money could assist almost double the number of students benefiting from the scheme. NSFAS expects to fund about 415 000 students during 2015.

The scheme has conceded that it will not be able to fund all students who have applied for funding. NSFAS says it is only aware of 800 students who will not get funding although their applications have been approved.

Seven Tembisa Schools Go Digital

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will participate in the launch of the Gauteng paperless education system at seven schools in Tembisa on Gauteng's East Rand on Wednesday, 14 January 2015.

Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Ronnie Mamoepa, says the deputy president will be joined by among others the minister for basic education, Angie Motshekga, and the Gauteng Premier, David Makhura.

The launch of the pilot project, ‘the Big Switch On’, takes place within the backdrop of the opening of inland schools for the 2015 academic year.

Sign Language to be Added to Curriculum

South African Sign Language will be introduced as a subject to pupils in Grades R to 3, and Grade 9 from 2015.
 
The Department of Basic Education recently announced that teacher training had already started and the plan was to have the curriculum introduced across grades by 2018.
 
The plan follows on the success of a three-year pilot programme launched in the Western Cape in 2011.
 

NGO: ARVs Affect Pupils' Academic Performance

Yabonga, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) assisting HIV-positive children, says while antiretrovirals (ARV) are prolonging lives, the side-effects may slow down some patients’ academic development.
 
Yabonga counsels about 1 000 Cape Town children, some as young as five, who have HIV/AIDS, the organisation also runs various programmes including educational workshops and trauma counselling for HIV-positive kids.
 

Police Intimidation Continues in Swaziland

Swaziland Police have harassed another progressive, Sifiso Mabuza, deputy secretary of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers.

About 30 armed police raided his home claiming they were looking for explosives, where they found none. Mabuza told local media the police questioned him about his union activities and threatened him.

Swaziland has a history of attacking workers' rights. It has banned the workers' federation, the Trades Union Congress of Swaziland, broken up its meeting and harassed and arrested its leaders.

NGOs Hailed for Refurbishing Classrooms

Tanzania’s Kagera Regional Commissioner, Fabian Massawe, has hailed Pestalozzi Children's Foundation (PCF) of Switzerland and Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) for the timely intervention in constructing and renovating several classrooms in Bukoba District.

Massawe points out that, "The government appreciates Public Private Partnership (PPP). The assistance is timely. We thank the two NGOs [non-governmental organisations] and the people of Switzerland for their good spirit. Other NGOs should emulate the example."

School Closed With No Plan - SECTION27

Legal advocacy group, SECTION27, says that a Northern Cape school that closed over asbestos pollution concerns did so without a plan for the pupils’ continued education.

According to SECTION27’s Sasha Stevenson, the Khiba Junior Secondary School, serving 220 pupils from mostly poor backgrounds in Ga-Mopedi village in the JT Gaetsewe district, closed on Monday, 13 October 2015.

Stevenson argues that, “The closure has happened without any consultation with the school governing body (SGB) or the community. Most of the learners have now been sent home.”

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