Partnership to Tackle Child Pornography

The Film and Publication Board, along with Google, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and other organisations, announced a partnership designed to create awareness of cyber safety and fight online child pornography.

The national programme, which will begin this month, will promote the safer and more responsible use of the internet and online technologies.

The programme kicked off at Jules High School in Johannesburg, a school which made headlines in 2010 because of a sex-video scandal involving three pupils.

Most Countries Unlikely to Meet MDG

The United Nations (UN) states that most sub-Saharan African countries will not meet the Millennium Development Goal of ensuring that all children receive a primary school education by 2015, partly because of a shift in donor focus towards security and governance.

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s Pauline Rose, points out that South and West Asia have the fastest rise in numbers in primary schools, contributing more than half the rise in primary school pupils.

250m School Age Kids Unable to Read

At least 250 million of the world's 650 million primary school age children are unable to read, write or do basic mathematics.

According to a report commissioned by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), 130 million children are in primary school but have not achieved the minimum benchmarks for learning, and almost 120 million have spent little or no time in a classroom including 57 million youngsters who are not attending school.

SAEP Awarded Prestigious ‘Impact Award’

The Cape Town-based South African Education and Environment Project (SAEP) has been awarded a prestigious ‘impact award’ by international foundation, the STARS Foundation.

SAEP, which works to improve access to, and quality of education for, children and youth living in some of South Africa’s poorest townships, received the 2013 Stars Runner Up Award for Education in Africa-Middle East.

SAHRC to Probe Sanitation at Schools

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) will investigate sanitation in schools across Limpopo after a Grade R pupil fell into a pit toilet and died.

SAHRC spokesperson, Isaac Mangena, points out that the commission is aware of many other schools in the province that still used pit toilets.

Mangena, describes the boy's death as a shock and a disappointment, adding that, "We call on the department of basic education to move with necessary speed to ensure that all pit toilets in schools are eradicated."

Limpopo Textbook Delivery on Track

Civil society lobby group SECTION27 is impressed with the state of text book deliveries in Limpopo for the 2014 academic year.
In a press statement, SECTION27 spokesperson, Nikki Stein, points out that, "We commend the department of basic education and the Limpopo department of education on their improvement in textbook delivery for the 2014 academic year."
Stein says the organisation used a sample of 80 schools in the area, and that all schools have confirmed delivery of textbooks.

Highest Matric Pass Rate Since 1994

Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, has announced that the national pass rate for the 2013 National Senior Certificate has increased from 4.3 percent to 78.2 percent – the highest figure since 1994.

Motshekga celebrates matriculants for their hard work and sleepless nights.

"I congratulate the class of 2013 for being the best class since the advent of democracy, and encourage every learner to go further than their predecessors and strive to excel in higher education, the workplace and in your general contributions as South African citizens”, states Motshekga.

No Feeding Scheme at Limpopo Schools

Rights group, SECTION27, says that despite government's national school feeding scheme, pupils at Tshinavhe Secondary School have been left hungry.
SECTION27 states that pupils at a Limpopo school are writing exams without having had school meals for over two months.
The organisation filed an urgent application in the high court in Pretoria on 8 November 2013 asking that the meals be delivered to Tshinavhe Secondary School in the Vhembe district.

The Power of Stories for Children's Holistic Development

I remember ‘pretend’ play as a child. Sometimes alone, murmuring quietly to myself in a story, slipping through characters and time, being whoever I wanted to be and making things happen in ways that were larger and brighter than life. Or with my sister, moving in an enchanted space where I would be the princess and she, being the youngest, would have to jump at my every request.  Like all children, we would spend hours weaving the raw material of our experiences into compelling play, where at once we would make sense of and escape from our real world.


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