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04 June 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Prof Cathryn Tonne
Air pollution not only costs lives, it costs money too. Pictured is Prof Cathryn Tonne presenting a guest lecture on air pollution at the Bloemfontein Campus.

Health effects associated with ambient air pollution (AAP) have been well documented. Subsequently, the relationship between pollution and financial outcomes have also become a focus for case studies globally. An Environmental Research journal article revealed that “low and middle-income countries are disproportionately affected by the global burden of adverse health effects caused by AAP”. 

A high price to pay

In 2012, high concentrations of air pollution caused 7.4% of all deaths, costing South Africa up to 6% of its Gross Domestic Product. According to the recent International Growth Centre study conducted by senior University of Cape Town researchers, this is a direct consequence of the country’s heavy dependence of fossil fuels, a source of health-damaging air pollution and greenhouse pollutants.

Stunted human and economic growth

These South African statistics are attested to by Prof Cathryn Tonne who recently presented a guest lecture on air pollution which was hosted by the University of the Free State (UFS) Business School.

“Air pollution can affect economic development through several pathways, and health is an important one. Air pollution is linked to shorter life expectancy, chronic disease, asthma exacerbation and many other health outcomes that result in absenteeism from work and school. These have large direct costs to the health system.” 

Prof Tonne says that air pollution exposure in children is linked to reduced cognitive development, with important impacts on human capital. As a result, children are not reaching their full potential in terms of neurodevelopment, which has an effect on their income prospects and the economy as a whole. 

Resolving a looming disaster

Technology may be employed to radically clean the air. Cities need to lead in the reduction of air pollution by promoting renewable energy, using active transport such as walking or cycling, and investing in infrastructure to make this safe and attractive. 

With researchers playing a major role in strengthening the case for aggressive air pollution control, the government needs to implement policies in order to control sources of air pollution. This global health and economic issue also requires individuals and communities to play their part to improve air quality.

News Archive

Empowering teachers: Working with head, heart and hand
2011-06-14

 
Prof. JJE Messerschimdt (left) is the main supervisor and Dr KE Khabanyane the co-supervisor of this study within our Faculty of Education.

The implementation of Curriculum 2005 brought about new demands in the teaching and learning of languages.  In teaching languages, it is expected of teachers to focus on the development of the basic language skills which are embedded in the first four outcomes, namely listening, speaking and reading which is coupled with viewing and writing.

Although the learning outcomes are developed as an integrated whole, each one needs special attention. According to the NCS, the third learning outcome namely "reading and viewing", is stated as follows: "The learner will be able to read and view for information and enjoyment, and respond critically to the aesthetic, cultural and emotional value in texts".
 
Julia Ramabenyane researches The facilitative role of Grade 1 teachers in the development of reading skills in Sesotho. Empowering teachers: Working with head, heart and hand, a workshop for Grade 1 teachers, was held on 27 and 28 May in the Winkie Direko Building on our Main Campus. The aim of the workshop was to create an opportunity for teachers to better understand their role as facilitators in the development of reading skills.
 
In addition to the facilitation of Mrs Ramabenyane, Prof. Hasina Ebrahim (lecturer at the School of Social Sciences and Language Education), grade 1 teachers from Lesedi and Karabelo Primary Schools, as well as the HOD of Foundation Phase and three grade 1 learners from Karabelo Primary School in Rocklands, participated in the activities.
 
This workshop, together with other reflective group sessions, formed part of the emancipatory action research of Julia Ramabenyane's Foundation Phase PhD studies. This PhD study is titled The facilitative role of grade 1 teachers in development of readings skills in Sesotho.

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