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Thokozile Thulo
Thokozile Thulo says the UFS has changed its focus in supporting students with disabilities.

The Centre for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS) has recently opened a permanent office on the Qwaqwa Campus The centre aims to ensure that the University of the Free State increasingly becomes a universally accessible higher-education institution which embraces students with various disabilities.

Thokozile Thulo, CUADS Assistant Officer at Qwaqwa said: “Our focus has changed from ‘special’ accommodation for individuals to the creation of a learning environment that is welcoming and empowering to all students. Integrated learning and education methodologies and processes are being researched and developed to create more awareness among lecturing staff. This incorporates universal design, faculty instruction and curricula.” 

The CUADS office assists students to gain access to study courses, learning materials, various buildings and residences, computer facilities and specialised exams and tests. For visually-impaired students, study material and textbooks in Braille, audio, e-text or enlarged format are provided. 

The office also supports students with various psychosocial and chronic conditions such as epilepsy and panic disorder, as well as learning difficulties such as dyslexia and hyperactivity. “In addition, we support students with special arrangements such as extra time for tests and exams,” said Thokozile.



News Archive

Politicians must push economic integration within SADC, Mboweni
2009-08-31

The outgoing Governor of the Reserve Bank, Mr Tito Mboweni (pictured), believes that for economic regional integration to be realized among the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, the political leadership of the region should play a pivotal role.

Mr Mboweni delivered the CR Swart Memorial Lecture, the oldest lecture at the University of the Free State, on the topic: “Seeking greater political and economic integration in Southern Africa in challenging and turbulent financial times”.

He said the necessary macro-economic convergence accords must be put in place for regional integration to take place.

These accords, he said, should be supported by prudent fiscal policies, financial balances among SADC countries, and the implementation of policies which will minimize market distortions.

“In the crafting of the macro-economic policies of the region we have to ensure that market certainty is maintained,” he said.

He said as governors of central banks in the region they have agreed that to achieve these objectives they first have to attain a free trade area.

“When the proposals were drafted the idea was that in 2008 we should have achieved a free trade area,” he explained. “Now we are behind in that regard, meaning that a free trade area has been formally and officially declared but the implementation thereof is behind schedule.”

Mr Mboweni said they were supposed to have a SADC-wide customs union in 2010, a SADC common market in 2015 and a monetary union in 2016.

“In order for us to move towards the regional integration agenda it is clear that there has to be a far greater intra-African trade than is the case now,” he said.

“In Southern Africa most of the trade is with South Africa and the other countries do not trade much with or amongst each other.”

He also said because the South African currency is legal tender in countries like Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, they have developed a comprehensive set of proposals with these countries to deal with this matter.

“Our proposals basically center on the creation of a common central bank for South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland which, if created, would form a good basis for the establishment of a SADC-wide central bank.”

He said the macro-economic convergence criteria will not help achieve regional integration without the region’s political will.

“There has to be a commitment by the political leadership in Southern Africa to do the basic things that need to be done for the development of the region,” he said.

“That is where the notion of a developmental state must come in in support of these regional integration initiatives. There is no gain in just shouting developmental state if the basic issues supportive of development are not done.”

Mr Mboweni will leave the Reserve Bank in November this year.


Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@ufs.ac.za  
31 August 2009

 

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