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Campus voter drive yields unsatisfactory results

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The Electoral Commission (IEC) in the Free State receives a disappointing turn out in the number of registered youth in 28 tertiary institutions ahead of voting season.

The special campaign was held from 18 to 20 Feb­ruary, the drive was aimed at encouraging the youth to register to vote during the 2019 provincial and national election on 8 May.

Mmathabo Rasengane, the IEC’s provincial spokesperson, said the commission managed to register a mere 1 817 youths.

She said the number didn’t match their expectations, considering the extra effort the commission took to encourage youths as future leaders to register in numbers for the upcoming elections.

“At some campuses, students showed no interest to register to vote during the elections.

“Classes were suspended due to protest action by students,” said Rasengane.

She also mentioned the challenges they faced with industrial action by workers affiliated with the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu).

 Strikes also played a part, leading to the disappointing turn out, this hindered the process at least four campuses.

These campuses are that of the Central University of Technology (CUT), Free State; the Maluti Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College in the Eastern Free State and the Motheo TVET College in Zastron and Bloemfontein.

She said youth showed little interest in registering, which indicates youth voter apathy does exists.

Rasengane added that this was despite the industrial action by workers at the four campuses.

She said political parties were visible to observe the registration process.

Rasengane said the view held is that a significant number of youth had already registered before the campus initiative.

The 2019 elections will be the sixth in the era of democracy.

Source: News24

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Universities

DHET: National skills conference

Key players that contributes to South Africa’s skills and development came together to discuss the future of South Africa’s qualified, unemployed and unskilled youth

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The National Skills Authority together with the Department of Higher Education and Training held the National Skills Development conference at the Birchwood hotel in Boksburg.

Prominent public figures and contributors of youth skills,professional and educational development- skills development stakeholders from Quality Councils, SETAs, Government, Business, Labour, Education and Training Providers, Community Constituencies, Provincial Skills Development Forums (PSDFs), Research Institutions, Professional Bodies and the general public were attended.

Taking that a large population of the youth remains unemployed, even with a large number of qualified students still seeking employment, the skills development stakeholders took time time to further discuss the underlying issues of South Africa’s youth.

The plan is to ensure that these key role players within the industry stand by the National Development programme so to ensure that by 2030 the youth South Africa experience a South Africa where amongst other things:

  • skills development system enhance productive and decent work for current and future socio-economic growth and development
  • Deepening the understanding of opportunities so that post school education and training institutions and skills development bodies co-exist and collaborate
  • Creating a platform for a strengthened social partnership model for planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of skills development
  • Positioning skills development to address rising youth unemployment

The aim of the NDP is to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. According to the plan, “South Africa can realise these goals by drawing on the energies of its people, growing an inclusive economy, building capabilities, enhancing the capacity of the state, and promoting leadership and partnerships throughout society”.

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Finding your entertainment in Tourism

The Department of Tourism looks to have the South African youth as not only tourism entrepreneurs but contributors to the growth of the country’s tourism sector.

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It’s official South Africa is the top travel destination on the continent!

A known fact about Tourism is that it contributes greatly to the countries economy and that South Africa is the top tourism economy in Africa. With that being said, it only makes it twice as beneficial if the tourism sites are enjoyed by both locals and tourists from all over the world.

The Department of Tourism has long grasped the potential of travel and tourism and sees South Africa’s tourism sites as an opportunity for the youth to diversify their ‘social tastes’.

” There is quite a lot of other things to do which are cheaper a lot affordable, that are as entertaining as their normal lives. The South African youth needs to use tourism sites as other means of entertainment, said Blessing Manale, head of communication in the Department of Tourism.

Considering that Gauteng has the largest population of students, the Tourism Department recently launched the “First Timer Campaign” which also looks to introduce students coming into Gauteng to take part in the tourism spaces and experience what these sites have to offer.

In Manale’s view ,Tourism sites such as Freedom Park in Pretoria and Solomon Mhlangu Square, Vilakazi street in soweto, Capture Sites in KZN can be utilised and provide that fun element that the youth need and at same time educate about South Africa’s history.

“The entire country is available for young people, for those that are shooting 4 minute movies, for those doing music videos and birthdays. The country is abundant with tourism facilities”, Manale said.

The first timer campaign encourages youth to experience gauteng,places like the Vaal area, Maboneng, Ekurhuleni as well heritage sites and museums which the Department looks to turn into places of enjoyment.

” Looking to the future, I believe that Travel & Tourism is South Africa’s greatest resource and the country’s strategy for expansion which priorities regional integration, environment sustainability and putting the community at the heart of decisions will make for a successful combination”, Said Gloria Guevara,WTT president and CEO.

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Universities

UFS, higher-education institution which embraces students with various disabilities

Disability support taken up a few notches on Qwaqwa Campus.

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Front, from the left: Joseph Sesing, Martie Miranda (Head of CUADS), Grace Kene, Elisa Sising, Ellen Motaung, Lize Botha. Back, from the left: Tigo Vorster, Thoko Thulo, Charity Morrison, Florina Motsamai, Mpho Mmusi.

The Centre for Universal Access and Disability Support – (CUADS) has recently opened a permanent office on the QwaQwa campus. The centre aims to ensure that the University of the Free State increasingly becomes a universally accessible higher-education institution which embraces students with various disabilities.

Photo: Thabo Kessah
Thokozile Thulo

Thokozile Thulo, CUADS Assistant Officer at Qwaqwa said: “Our focus has changed from ‘special’ accommodation for individuals to the creation of a learning environment that is welcoming and empowering to all students. Integrated learning and education methodologies and processes are being researched and developed to create more awareness among lecturing staff. This incorporates universal design, faculty instruction and curricula.” 

The CUADS office assists students to gain access to study courses, learning materials, various buildings and residences, computer facilities and specialised exams and tests. For visually-impaired students, study material and textbooks in Braille, audio, e-text or enlarged format are provided. 

The office also supports students with various psychosocial and chronic conditions such as epilepsy and panic disorder, as well as learning difficulties such as dyslexia and hyperactivity. “In addition, we support students with special arrangements such as extra time for tests and exams,” said Thokozile.

SOURCE– UFS (Thabo Kessah)

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