Sunday, January 29, 2012

DASO Clearly Doesn't Understand Majority of Students

Gift Ngobeni

The campaign that caused much trouble.
The Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (DASO) recently launched its recruiting campaign in a rather controversial, if not provoking, manner. A poster of a black woman and a white man, seemingly naked while embracing each other, has sparked some serious debate, ridicule and outcry in the media and the political sphere.  

As a student who is currently in his fourth year at university I find the poster rather confusing and unnecessary. DASO has argued that the picture aims to increase racial tolerance in the future of the country. But what confuses me is DASO’s reason to make the models naked. It would be rather vague to say DASO is promoting sex in schools like one Facebooker articulated. I think we have moved beyond the stage of thinking such campaigns are promoting sex, but what wasn’t clear to me is what this student organisation, which is barely seen campaigning at many universities, stands for exactly. The poster released earlier this week sure doesn’t explain it and DASO says it comes as the first in a series of them. I wonder what the rest will look like if the mother body hasn’t told the youngsters to chuck the rest in the dustbin. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

SA and Nigeria Police Need to Fight Drugs Together

Gift Ngobeni

After several stories of South African women arrested overseas for trafficking drugs and the implication of some Nigerians in South Africa in drug manufacturing and the State security minister’s wife with a Nigerian counterpart found guilty after recruiting girls to work as drug mules maybe it’s time the South African and Nigerian police started working together to curb this crime. Nationals of both countries being implicated in the international trade of illegal drugs cannot be good for both nations and authorities from both countries working together will probably help improve how both countries are viewed. I will start with a long reminder of recent drug cases that have involved South Africans and others that have involved Nigerians in South Africa to show how important this is.

Thailand probably gets a lot of rich and beautiful young things taking advantage of cheap holidays there. The website estimates that over 600 thousand Britons visit Thailand each year. So authorities probably welcome people from new territories too and see it as a good sign of the treatment they give to visitors. They probably didn’t mind much when they saw a phly African princess carrying simple luggage with beautiful, big and long dreadlocks. Normally we praise such people because they would have had the patience many don’t have to maintain their hair properly and make sure it grows without breakage. But not this time as Nobabalo Nobanda’s dreadlocks were fake with something illegal hidden inside. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Impoverished School's New Method Increases Academic Performance

Sthembiso Sithole

Lindokuhle Cindi, with her father,  received the five distinctions she'd planned for.
Often when Matric results are released the focus would be on schools with a history of producing brilliant results. The pupils of these schools too would often be some of the best performing in the country. But as this happens, South Africans would neglect those which are disadvantaged and as a result have a history of poor performances. Phafogang Secondary School in Rockville, Soweto, is one of those schools. This year they increased their pass rate and the number of distinctions went up to eleven with one student obtaining five.
The principal, Tuska, Matlejoane, says he believes the increase is due to his changed approach to educating the predominantly financially disadvantaged pupils of the school. “I designed a new tool that will help indicate whether the progress is moving on.”

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Power Cuts & 5 Kilometre Walks for Water - Life in Bushbuck Ridge

Zanele Ngwenyama

Last year I moved to my mother’s house in the rural areas of Bushbuck Ridge in Mpumalanga. I had just graduated with a National Diploma in Journalism and was leaving an internship at e-TV in Johannesburg. E-TV had offered to renew the contract but due to certain reasons I had to decline the offer – but that story is for another day. 

When I moved to Bushbuck Ridge I realised that it is quite normal for this part of South Africa to go without electricity for long periods without anyone raising the alarm. I have just gone through another 24 hours of going back to rural basics such as making fire outside in order for us to make meals. It’s been raining and as a result I can’t cook today. I often hear people from other families saying they sleep on empty stomachs when there is no power. Because we are not in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town or Pretoria – this story will not be making national headlines on any newspaper or broadcaster.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Greater Unity Needed to Provide Pupils with Varsity Info

Sthembiso Sithole

Higher Education Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, considers centralising applications.

On Tuesday 10 January 2011 we heard and read about the death of a mother of one of the people who were queuing-up at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). The woman died in a stampede as many late applicants were standing there with the hope that they would receive university entry despite applications at most universities having closed in 2011. Some students have raised concerns over this with one even posting a statement on Facebook that asks the university to enrol that 48-year-old woman’s child with no charge.

Late university applications seem to be a continuing trend in South Africa despite constant requests that students should do things early to avoid such scenarios. Some students view technical institutions like FET colleges as last options despite them providing skills that are crucial to the country.   

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bigger Pass Rate But Work Still Needed in Rural Schools

Sthembiso Sithole

The streets of Soweto were packed this morning with the 2011 Matric class as they wanted to see whether they passed and completed their high schooling. Some were disappointed and many were happy with the outcomes as Umalusi Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training has revealed that the pass rate has gone up from 2010 67,8% to 70,2% this time around.

Sowetan Nelisiwe Chopela from The Hill high school who passed with a University entry (A) encouraged those who didn’tpass to give it their best as they try again. “I know that is no easy but I hope that they will go and re-write their Matric. It is not the end of the world.”