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18 April 2019 | Story Rulanzen Martin

The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice IRSJ) has initiated a Social Justice Week at the University of the Free State (UFS), which started on Friday 12 April  until Wednesday 17 April 2019. 

Ten key events took place during the week. It ranged from dialogues, workshops, talk shows, debates, and interactive displays and events on issues of multilingualism and diversity, social innovation, engaged scholarship, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, gender sensitisation, sexual consent, sexual preparedness, universal access, disability, anti-discrimination, and security.

There was also a round-table discussion on 17 April 2019 with various UFS stakeholders on off-campus student security as well as an inter-institutional discussion on the same topic. The UFS Debating Society will take on the topic of the UFS Language Policy, while Olga Barends from the Free State Centre for Human Rights will host a dialogue on sexual consent.

The IRSJ has also designed and implemented SOJO-VATION: Social Innovation/ Social Change, which strives to create a foundational platform where ideas of social justice, innovation, and engaged scholarship at the UFS and in society can be hosted. SOJO-VATION partners with the Office for Student Leadership, Development, and Community Engagement.

The collaborating partners for the Social Justice Week includes various UFS stakeholders such as the Sasol library, the Gender and Sexual Equity Office, UFS Protection Services, the Free State Centre for Human Rights, the Student Representative Council (SRC), the Office for Student Leadership Development, Kovsie Innovation, GALA, the FFree State Centre for Human Rights, SRC Associations, the Office for Student Governance, Kovsie Innovate, Start-Up-Grind, EVC, EBL, Community Engagement, the Institutional Transformation Plan (ITP) Dialogues Office, Residence Dialogues, UFS Debating Society, Debate Afrika!, the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS), and the Gateway Office. 

News Archive

Science 4Fun, collaboration between CUT and UFS community engagement
2017-08-16

 Description: Community Enagement Tags: : Nzame Primary School, Charles Busack, Global University for Lifelong Learning, Community Engagement, Science4Fun  

For Grade R learners at Nzame Primary, their
basic Geometry insight about shapes advanced
to engineering skills when they built modern pyramids,
connecting jelly sweets and sosatie sticks. 
Photo: Supplied 


Any phase in a learner’s life can be the right time to explore science. As for Grade R learners at Nzame Primary School in Mangaung, it all started when their Deputy Principal, Charles Busack, attended the Global University for Lifelong Learning (GULL) workshop coordinated by the university’s Community Engagement in October 2016. The GULL network enables its affiliated organisations to recognise the individual and collective efforts of those who are creating progressive transformation in communities and in the workplace. Consequently, a community-based initiative, Science4Fun, was developed and launched at the primary school, where learners would start to experiment with science through play.

University students instrumental in teaching
Every Tuesday morning, these fun science activities form part of the foundation phase programme, in which Dr Elizabeth Conradie of the Central University of Technology (CUT) and four postgraduate Science students from the UFS, engage teachers and learners in exciting experiments and demonstrations. 

Most people just know pyramids as big, impressive structures built a long time ago in Ancient Egypt. However, for Grade R learners at Nzame Primary, their basic Geometry insight about shapes advanced to engineering skills when they built modern pyramids, connecting jelly sweets and sosatie sticks.

Laying a foundation for the future
According to Dr Conradie, more fun exercises are lined up for curious minds, exploring other sciences such as Chemistry and Mathematics, combined with music. The initiative will assist to equip learners with the basics of Science into more advance learning phases of the schooling years, giving them an advantage.

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