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South Africa: Higher Education challenges of racism and access

Chika Sehoole, Professor at University of Pretoria, 22 July 2012, University World News

“Although admissions figures for black students and numbers of black staff have improved in the post-apartheid era, many black people still feel excluded within the university system and there are problems with a lack of available places to meet the demand for higher education. At the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, South Africa’s higher education sector made national and international news headlines.

At the end of 2011, the University of Pretoria was hit by allegations of apparent racism among its staff. A black engineering professor alleged systematic harassment and victimisation, on racial grounds.

At the beginning of the 2012 academic year, a black parent was killed in a stampede at the gates of the University of Johannesburg, where crowds of prospective students had gathered in the quest to gain admission into this university.

These two incidents – allegations of racism and the quest for access to higher education, especially by black people – are just two examples of the challenges that South Africa experiences in meeting some of the priority areas identified in 1994 by the post-apartheid government.”

To read the rest of Chika Sehoole’s article on University World News, Click Here!

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South Africa loses increasing numbers of teachers via emigration

In a recent presentation titled “South African teacher migration: an issue of political debate“, Rian de Villiers from the Faculty of Education at the University of Pretoria indicated that South Africa loses approximately 4000 teachers each year to emigration. This means that new teachers will have to be aggresively recruited and produced to curb the decline in numbers of teachers.

De Villiers showed that teachers loss in South Africa was due to attrition, career change and massive recruitment by foreign countries.

Factors which seem to be pushing teachers out of SA were:

  • Career dissatisfaction
  • Low salaries
  • Unemployment

Factors attracting teachers to other countries include:

  • Higher salaries
  • Professional development
  • Travel opportunities
  • Friends and family overseas
  • Recruitment agency persuasion.

Possible solutions given by De Villiers include:

  • Recruiting retired and unemployed subject experts
  • Having a compulsory one-year internship after graduation
  • Making more bursary schemes available for prospective student teachers
  • Monitoring teacher recruitment agencies closely
  • Introducing international relocation grants
  • Eliminating negative perceptions about the teaching profession
  • Improving teachers’ work conditions

To read more:

Go to Michelle Jones’ article in the Star Newspaper by Clicking Here!   

Go to Michelle Jones and Leanne Jansen’s article in The Mercury by Clicking Here! 

To access Rian De Villiers’ presentation Click Here!

Centenary Research Indaba 2008

The Faculty of Education at the University of Pretoria, South Africa will be hosting a Centenary Research Indaba on the 11th of April at the Groenkloof Campus of the University. The theme of the Research Indaba will be “100 Years of Knowledge: Reflecting on the Paving of Ways into the Future”.

To view the programme and abstracts of papers that will be presented, click here!

University of Pretoria Centenary Celebrations: List of books written by Education Lecturers at UP 1908-2008

University of Pretoria is this year 100 years old, and as part of the celebrations we have compiled a list of all the books, theses and dissertations written by Education lecturers at UP from 1908-2008 

To access the list click here!

Results from PIRLS 2006 International Report is shocking!

South Africa’s Grade 4s & Grade 5s came last in a study of 40 countries that took part in the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2006. This was revealed yesterday at the release of the South African results at a news conference in Irene, South Africa by Prof Sarah Howie and her team from the Centre for Evaluation Assessment at the University of Pretoria, that co-ordinated the research nationally. 

The PIRLS 2006 International Report is available at http://timss.bc.edu/PDF/p06_international_report.pdf