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03 October 2018 | Story UFS | Photo Varsity Sports
First ever netball final in Bloemfontein
The Kovsies will be aiming to lift the Varsity Netball trophy in front of their home supporters on Monday when they face Tuks in the final in the Callie Human Centre.

The netball team of the University of the Free State, once again after five years, earned themselves the right to stage a final in the Varsity Netball competition. The two-time champion, the Dream Team, qualified for the final after topping the log and then wiping the floor with the Maties on Monday (1 October 2018) in the semi-final. The score was 56-45. 

They will come up against Tuks in the Callie Human Centre on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus for the final tonight. The match will get underway at 18:45.

The team won the very first two years of the competition in 2013 and 2014. On both occasions, they had to play away from home – in 2013 against the Pukke in Potchefstroom and in 2014 against Tuks in Pretoria. 

It will be the fourth meeting between the Kovsies and Tuks within three months. The Free State students won the group fixture in August by 68-43, but Tuks had to do without a number of their star players. At the University Sport South Africa tournament in Bloemfontein during July, Tuks triumphed twice, winning the final by 48-30.

Apart from the winners’ medals, an award will be handed to the tournament’s top player. Centre Khanyisa Chawane is one of three finalists. The winner gets chosen through public votes.

Dream Team players have won the prize four of the five times. Ané Botha was crowned in 2013, Karla Pretorius in 2014 and 2015, and last year it was the turn of current Kovsie player, Khomotso Mamburu.

To vote for Chawane, click here hover your mouse over the like button and choose the heart emoticon. Voting is closing on 5 October and the winner will be announced after the final.

News Archive

Socially inclusive teaching provides solution to Grade 4 literacy challenges
2017-01-23

 Description: Motselisi Malebese Tags: Motselisi Malebese

Mots’elisi Malebese, postdoctoral Fellow of the Faculty
of Education at the University of the Free State (UFS) tackles
Grade 4 literacy challenges.
Photo: Rulanzen Martin

Imagine a teaching approach that inculcates richness of culture and knowledge to individual learners, thus enhancing equity, equality, social justice, freedom, hope and fairness in terms of learning opportunities for all, regardless of learners’ diversity.

This teaching strategy was introduced by Mots’elisi Malebese, postdoctoral Fellow of the Faculty of Education at the University of the Free State (UFS), whose thesis focuses on bringing together different skills, knowledge and expertise in a classroom environment in order to enhance learners’ competence in literacy.

A teaching approach to aid Grade 4 literacy competency
Titled, A Socially Inclusive Teaching Strategy to Respond to Problems of Literacy in a Grade 4 Class, Malebese’s post-doctoral research refers to an approach that improves listening, speaking, reading, writing, technical functioning and critical thinking. Malebese, who obtained her PhD qualification in June this year, says her research confirmed that, currently, Grade 4 is a bottleneck stage, at which learners from a low socio-economic background fall behind in their learning due to the transition from being taught in their home language to English as a medium of instruction.

Malebese, says: “My study, therefore, required practical intervention through participatory action research (PAR) to create conditions that foster space for empowerment.”

PAR indoctrinates a democratic way of living that is equitable, liberating and life-enhancing, by breaking away from traditional teaching methods. It involves forming coalitions with individuals with the least social, cultural and economic power.

Malebese’s thesis was encouraged by previous research that revealed that a lack of readiness for a transitional phase among learners, teachers’ inability to teach literacy efficiently, and poor parental involvement, caused many learners to experience a wide variety of learning barriers.

A co-teaching model was adopted in an effort to create a more socially inclusive classroom. This model involves one teacher providing every learner with the assistance he or she needs to succeed, while another teacher moves around the room and provides assistance to individual learners.

“Learners’ needs are served best by allowing them to demonstrate understanding in a variety of ways, because knowledge is conveyed and accomplished through collaborative work,” Malebese said.

She believes the most important benefit of this model is assuring that learners become teachers of their understanding and experiences through gained knowledge.

Roleplayers get involved using diverse expertise in their field
Teachers, parents and several NGOs played a vital role in Malebese’s study by getting involved in training, sewing and cooking clubs every weekend and during school holidays. English was the medium of teaching and learning in every activity. A lodge, close to the school, offered learners training in mountain biking and hiking. These activities helped learners become tour guides. Storyteller Gcina Mhlophe presented learners with a gift of her latest recorded storytelling CD and books. Every day after school, learners would read, and have drama lessons once a week.

AfriGrow, an organisation that works with communities, the government and the corporate sector to develop sustainable community-driven livelihoods through agricultural and nutrition programmes, provided learners with seedlings, manure and other garden inputs and training on how to start a sustainable food garden. The children were also encouraged to participate in sporting activities like soccer and netball.

“I was aware that I needed a large toolbox of instructional strategies, and had to involve other stakeholders with diverse expertise in their field,” Malebese said.

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