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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

UFS Sign Language expert appointed to a national government committee
2010-05-13

Photo: Mangaliso Radebe


The National Department of Basic Education has appointed the Head of the Department of Afro-Asiatic Studies, Sign Language and Language Practice at the University of the Free State (UFS), Mr Philemon Akach, to serve in its Curriculum Management Team.

“It is my pleasure to inform you that you have been appointed as a member of the Curriculum Management Team to manage the development of Sign Language as a subject to be listed in the National Curriculum Statement Grades R-12,” the Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga, wrote in her letter to Mr Akach.

“I am excited, after mulling over this, saying that maybe this time around it may just work because, from experience, I can sensitise the other committee members on how to build in an implementation strategy right from the beginning,” said Mr Akach.

“Over the last 12 years we have implemented the proposed part of the curriculum for tertiary institutions at this university, so our input will be a practical one. We have not only theoretically proven it can be done but have developed multimedia teaching materials as a legacy to sustain the course as a permanent feature at this level. I will share this with the management to implement what is already working.”

He was a Director of Sign Language and Interpreting Development with the Deaf Federation of South Africa for three years (1996-1998). During that time he directed the development of the South African Sign Language (SASL) curriculum as a school subject from Grades 0-12, as well as SASL as a second language, and a proposal to tertiary institutions on what they should take note of, should they considered introducing SASL as an academic course. All of these were handed over to the Department of Education in 1997.

“Committees are a good tool to write proposals but if there is no policing of the implementation, not much seems to work,” he said.

Media Release:
Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za  
12 May 2010
 

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