Sixty years after the ANC’s Freedom Charter envisioned a universal education policy, hordes of disillusioned students marched outside the gates of Parliament, burning Zuma’s effigy and chanting ‘Fees Must Fall!’ – How far has South Africa come in advancing opportunities for higher education, and what more can be done?
Founded in 1989, Learn to Earn (LtE) is a non-profit organisation which assists unemployed people not just socially and economically but emotionally and spiritually too. The organisation takes a holistic approach in their training and has helped more than 13,000 people to find jobs and support their families.
South Africa’s Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr Blade Nzimande has announced it is up to the country’s universities to ‘individually…determine the level of (fee) increase that their institutions require…’. But he cautioned that no university’s fees should be raised by more than 8% for 2017. This follows a blanket freeze on fees in 2016 that left a number of universities on the verge of financial collapse. The Conversation Africa asked Professor Suellen Shay to unpack Nzimande’s announcement.
There are eight of us in the car; myself, five Projects Abroad volunteers from the human rights office, our coordinator and our driver. As we drive through the gates of Bonnytoun we are met with high walls, barbed wire fences and uniformed officers, and I begin to feel slightly nervous at my decision to visit this boys’ juvenile detention centre.
Youth Day is a day where everyone takes a moment to celebrate the young people of South Africa as well as remember those who were lost in the country’s pursuit of freedom, specifically the Soweto Uprising of 1976. This year, the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation hosted the Youth Health Festival (YHF) at the Artscape to help educate young men and women from Cape Town about sexual health and HIV/AIDS, a crisis that affects over 300,000 children in South Africa alone.
In 2014 Dene Botha, the founder and managing director of Pride Factor, had a simple dream – to make a difference in the lives of teenagers in South Africa. Now two years later he has teamed up with Greg Secker of the Greg Secker Foundation to create the Inspired Youth Programme. A platform that is not only opening new doors for the youth of South Africa, it is shattering the outdated mind-set of what it means to be a successful and to achieve one’s passions and dreams.
It was barely nine o’clock in the morning when the parent burst into the office. ‘There’s nothing wrong with my child, it’s your school that’s the problem!’ The parent is shaking with anger as he approaches the principal’s desk. After 40 years of teaching, the principal is used to people blaming her, yet she still has vast amounts of empathy.
According to UNICEF, many of the global under-five deaths occur in children already weakened by malnutrition. In 2010 this amounted to 4.2% of children under-five in the Western Cape being diagnosed as suffering severe malnutrition. On the opposite end of the scale, we have the South African Medical Research Council reporting that nearly 70% of South African women are both overweight and obese. This means it’s not uncommon to have an overweight parent, with an under-nourished child in the same family.
Despite being one of the most economically advanced countries on the continent, South Africa is struggling with a particularly pressing issue: its prison population, which is the largest in Africa at 158,000. To make matters worse, upon leaving prison, ex-offenders are presented with the bleak options of either unemployment or a menial low-paying job, which makes the allure of crime extremely powerful.
Education is the key to reducing poverty and inequality as well as promoting growth of the economy. It is one of the most crucial aspects for the development of a country, and for many the way to a better life. But does the classroom really prepare youngsters for the future? Especially if we consider that the teaching method in today’s schools was designed for a totally different kind of student.