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Story writing exhibition at University of Pretoria’s Education Library

As part of Library Week Celebrations the Education Library of the University of Pretoria recently hosted an exhibition of Stories written and compiled by Early Childhood Education students in 2008. These stories were entered in a competition sponsored by Oxford University Press. The stories form part of a Story Reading Project which has run for a number of years as an innovation outcome of the Early Literacy Module in the Early Childhood Education Programme in the Faculty of Education, at University of Pretoria. picture-033

Dr Ina Joubert who heads up this project received an Education

Innovation award in 2006 for this project. The creativity of the students were really amazing and of the highest standard!


Sonja Delport and members of the library team at the Education library worked really hard to ensure that the exhibition was a great success.   



The exhibition was officially opened by the Dean of the Faculty of Education, Prof Irma Eloff on 18 March 2009 and ran till 27 March 2009. In her opening address for the exhibition the dean read a poem by Strickland Gillilan to emphasize the importance of reading to the little child:


Richer Than Goldpicture-027
“You may have tangible wealth untold;

Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.

Richer than I you can never be —

I had a mother who read to me.”


To see photos of the exhibition on Slideshare Click Here!


“Fruitless debates based on bad information”

According to Luis Crouch, Senior Economist, Research Triangle Institute (USA), “every now and then South Africa’s education opinion leaders seem to get caught up in fruitless debates based on bad information, or badly-digested information. The tendency to misunderstand the nature of the issues seems to have erupted again, recently, with debates around dropout issues. But the evidence is so clear, so strong, and so easily accessible, that negligence to base one’s opinions on the evidence borders either on mendacity or academic sloppiness

To read the whole article, as published on the SA Departement of Education’s site, Click here!

What is behind South Africa’s high university dropout rates?

A recent article released by Moneyweb touches on the reasons for the high dropout rates at South African Universities. The article refers to recent information released by Higher Education SA (HESA), a Section 21 company representing all 23 public universities in South Africa, that the dropout rate escalated alarmingly in recent years, and is hitting highs of up of up to 35% at some universities, with the bulk of those leaving being first-year students.  It also refers to the Human Sciences Research Council’s recent study of about 34 000 students which showed that of this amount, only 14 000 students graduated, with some 20 000 dropping out of their courses, most of them being either in their first year or midway through their second year of study.

To read the rest of the Moneyweb article Click Here!

Reasoning is the most preferred method of disciplining in SA schools

Reasoning and discussion is the most preferred method of disciplining in South African schools, a Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) study revealed recently. The study by Mbithi wa Kivilu and Muchiri Wandrai is titled “Spare the rod and save the child, most South Africans believe”.

The study  investigated changes in attitudes towards methods of disciplining school pupils among South Africans aged 16 years and older, and was drawn from the annual South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS) between 2003 and 2006. The study also included other influences, such as religion, gender, and race on these attitudes.

To read more go to the SAPA article on News 24 by Clicking Here! Alternatively go to the HSRC study by Clicking Here!

Prof Jonathan Jansen appointed as rector of University of the Free State

Professor Jonathan Jansen, previous dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Pretoria, and a renowned education academic, is to become the first black leader of South Africa’s University of the Free State.  It seems appropriate that a much-published scholar who has probed racism and reconciliation in recent books will lead a university that lost its previous vice-chancellor following a racist incident, involving white male Afrikaner students, that sparked outrage here and abroad.

To read more go to the University World News article by Clicking Here!

SA government is considering extending 3 year university degrees to four years.

Since 1994, access to universities for poor students in South Africa has grown phenomenally. Enrolment of (mostly disadvantaged) African and mixed-race students rose by 268% in the decade to 2006. But in the face of low pass rates the debate has moved on from access to success, and government is considering extending three-year degrees to four years to include the foundational learning many under-prepared students need.

To read more go to the University World News article by Clicking  Here!

A huge increase in new education students at SA universities

For the first time in years South African universities are experiencing a marked increase in the number of students wanting to become teachers.

Universities showing a marked increase in student numbers from last year included the University of Pretoria from 789 to 1224; the University of KwaZulu-Natal from 548 to 701; Wits University from 400 to 520; the University of Johannesburg from 213 to 330 and Stellenbosch University from 571 to 637; with the University of the Free State taking in an extra 28 from 410 last year.

To read more go to the Sunday Times article by Clicking Here!