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14 June 2018 Photo Supplied
Next Chapter Green Ribbon campaign addresses mental health
Members of Next Chapter and UFS Student counselling are working together to address mental health issues.

Next Chapter, a student support group at the UFS presented the Green Ribbon campaign, pledging their support to students and providing them with assistance in coping with life events that stimulate stress and contribute negatively to their mental health. The team aims to break the stigma surrounding mental health care, and continually assist students with mental health-related issues that they struggle with daily.

The Green Ribbon represents mental health awareness, which is a pressing matter for students and is the type of support students need in a stressful university environment. The campaign focuses on teaching students how to cope with life events that stimulate stress, and contribute negatively to their mental health.
 
A discussion by Dr Ancel George: practising clinical psychologist and lecturer from the UFS Department of Psychology, and Dr Mellissa Barnaschone: Director of UFS Student Counselling, took place, where talks were prominent about creating an inclusive environment for UFS students.

The panel shared a few tips on how students should work towards managing stress, and motivated them for the main mid-year examinations.
 
The follow-up Exam Cram Workshop, presented by Nadia Cloete and Lize Wolmarans, that combined time and stress management, took place on 2 June 2018, and saw students receiving advice on how to approach various issues during the examination period.
 
Mental health awareness does not end with the campaign and Next Chapter’s slogan “Your story continues” encourages students to regularly wear and commemorate the green ribbon in support of continual mental healthcare.
 
Should you have any enquiries or input for the ongoing campaign, contact the Next Chapter team on ufsnextchapter@gmail.com, or further email Tshepang Mahlatsi, founder of Next Chapter on tshepangmahlatsi767@gmail.com

News Archive

South Campus first in SA to introduce new online platform for educators
2016-05-25

Description: South Campus online platform for educators  Tags: South Campus online platform for educators

Dr Whitty Green (DHET), Phillip Dikgomo (NDBE), Ernst Stals (Free State Department of Education), Isaac Mogotsi (Nothern Cape Department of Education), Tsatsi Montso (Free State Department of Education), Prof Daniella Coetzee (Principal: South Campus), Steven Bailey (Academic Partnerships), and Prof Judy Zimny (Academic Partnerships)
Photo: Eugene Seegers

The South Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) has become the first in South Africa to introduce a completely online platform for educators to obtain the Advanced Certificate in Teaching (ACT) in either Foundation, Intermediate, or Senior Phase.

Beginning with the first start date of 4 July 2016, this platform will be offered in nine or ten 8-week sessions. It will provide educators the opportunity to complete these certificates in 18-20 months compared to the 24 months usually required by part-time university students.  Academic and technological support will also be provided.

Unique platform

Prof Daniella Coetzee, Principal of South Campus, said that she is thrilled, “as this opportunity for educators to earn a qualification 100% online - is a first for both the UFS and South Africa.”  This opportunity represents tremendous strides in providing options for South African educators.

According to Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, human connectivity is a key component of education: “We should never reduce education to a stranger at a distance without any human interaction. That is also why the UFS has been consistent in promoting not only its Academic Project, but the Human Project as well.” He said that it would not be possible to extend second-chance opportunities to students without partnerships with government, non-profit organisations, local and international academic partners, and other external stakeholders.

Specific challenges addressed

In her presentation, Prof Judy Zimny, who is affiliated with Academic Partnerships (a company that has supported more than 40 universities in providing high-quality online programmes for educators) aligned a number of the challenges described by South African leaders in supporting educators with opportunities now available through online education as a result of recent strides in learning technologies.

Various members of the national education sector were also present at the workshop to give their input: Isaac Mogotsi (Northern Cape Department of Education), Phillip Dikgomo (National Department of Basic Education - NDBE), Dr Whitty Green (Department of Higher Education and Training - DHET), Tsatsi Montso (Free State Department of Education), and Ernst Stals (Free State Department of Education).

For educators interested in pursuing an Advanced Teaching Certificate (ACT), the website will soon be populated with all admission and enrolment information for programmes starting on 4 July 2016, 29 August 2016, and 24 October 2016.

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