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07 May 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Noko Masalesa
Noko Masalesa, Director of Protection Services, in conversation with students and stakeholders to plan a safe way forward.

Safety and security are human rights that constitute social justice. At the centre of the agenda at the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Social Justice Week held on the Bloemfontein Campus from 17-22 April 2019 were discussions about off-campus safety. Stakeholders agreed on an upgrade to security measures in order to ensure the success and wellbeing of the student population.

A call to students

Prof John Mubangizi, Dean of the Faculty of Law, in his capacity as representative of the UFS Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, expressed his view on institutions of higher learning no longer functioning as ivory towers. “For any initiative to succeed, collaboration is necessary between key roleplayers,” he said.

He aptly pointed out that: “We cannot underscore the importance of safety and security, not only for the university but also for the communities around us. What the university does benefits the community and vice versa. I pledge the university’s commitment to play a leading part to ensure that the collaboration works,” said Prof Mubangizi.

Beefing up security: Who is involved?

In view of the collaborative effort Prof Mubangizi alluded to, the engagement was twofold. First was the roundtable discussion facilitated by Protection Services which then escalated into a public dialogue where students had the opportunity to interact with external delegates.

The South African Police Services, Community Police Forum, Private Security, Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, Provincial Commissioner, and Deputy Minister of Police were well represented in this critical conversation. Internally, members of Protection Services, Housing and Residence Affairs, Student Affairs, Institute for Social Justice and Reconciliation, Student Representative Council, and the Department of Criminology heard the plight of off-campus safety faced by students.

Changes in the horizon

The discussions culminated with recommendations which will see the future of student safety take a different direction. According to Skhululekile Luwaca, former SRC president, these include “the municipality’s commitment to immediately address issues such as street lights and enforcing by-laws, ensuring an integrated accreditation system, and drafting a policy for off-campus accommodation, running more crime awareness campaigns, and giving police patrols more visibility.”

In addition to resolving to set up a student safety forum with all the stakeholders, the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality has invited the UFS to join Reclaim the City – a safety forum where practical solutions to crime are devised and implemented on a weekly basis.


News Archive

Faculty of Education discusses new curricula at summit
2012-03-07

 

Die Fakulteit Opvoedkunde se nuut-aangepaste B.Ed.-programme word binnekort by die Nasionale Departement van Hoër Onderwys en Opleiding ingedien vir herakkreditasie. Proff. Rita Niemann (links), Direkteur vir Nagraadse Studie en Navorsing, en Gawie du Toit, Direkteur vir Aanvanklike Onderwysersopvoeding, is aan die stuur van die herkurrikuleringsproses vir voorgraadse en nagraadse programme van die Fakulteit Opvoedkunde.
6 March 2012

The training of professional teachers rests on a strong curriculum. For this reason, the Faculty of Education has been re-looking at the curricula of the B.Ed. programme for the past two years.

Before this programme is submitted for approval and accreditation, the Education Faculty’s staff from the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses will attend a summit at the Gariep Dam on 7 and 8 March 2012. This summit is a sequel to guidelines drawn up by the National Department of Higher Education and Training on adjusted requirements for teacher training. It determines that all initial teacher training and honours programmes be recurriculated and resubmitted for accreditation. These requirements were published in the Government Gazette in July 2011 and involve all education faculties in the country.
 
Deans and line heads of other faculties, including Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Humanities, and Economic and Management Sciences, have also become involved as Education students often register for modules in these faculties.
 
Last week a team from the UFS’s Education Faculty also attended a workshop presented by the Council on Higher Education where the criteria for recurriculation and the evaluation of programmes were discussed.
 
Prof. Gawie du Toit of the UFS’s Faculty of Education says curriculation is not merely a technical process but requires thorough reflection and conceptualisation, involving various roleplayers.
“It is important that recurriculation should take place over a period of time to allow for sufficient time for reflection, absorption and ownership.”
 
Thus, the aim of the Gariep Dam summit is to introduce a teachers’ training program that will provide graduates with the necessary knowledge, skills and responsibilities to take up their places as academics and professional beginner teachers.
 
During these two days students in Education will not attend any classes but they are tasked with self study and to complete assignments.

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