Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Previous Archive
24 May 2019 | Story Eloise Calitz | Photo Charl Devenish
Gangster book Discussion
From left: Jacques van Wyk from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) Cathy Dlodlo, news editor from OFM; Pieter Roux from the UFS Business School; Alta Vermeulen from the UFS Department of Political Studies and Governance and Pieter-Louis Myburgh, author

A packed Odeion Auditorium at the University of the Free State was welcomed by Professor Helena van Zyl, Head of the UFS Business School. The reason being, a panel discussion with award-winning investigative reporter and author, Pieter-Louis Myburgh, on his much-publicised book Gangster State: Unravelling Ace Magashule's Web of Capture. The programme took the form of a panel discussion. The panellists included Pieter-Louis Myburgh, author; Jacques van Wyk from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE); Cathy Dlodlo, news editor from OFM; Alta Vermeulen from the UFS Department of Political Studies and Governance; and Pieter Roux from the UFS Business School.

In his introduction, Myburgh said he was happy that he was able to come to Bloemfontein and have the discussion, since South Africans should cherish freedom of speech and a free press.

The research for the book took 13 months to conclude, and during this time he spent a lot of time in the Free State and Bloemfontein. He mentioned that the book gave him the opportunity to present a condensed account of what he discovered; he could therefore share more, as opposed to just reporting on a story in the newspaper. For him, investigative reporting should always be fact based and open to scrutiny.

Some of the topics raised by the panel was concern about the perception that investigative journalists are focusing more on corruption in the public sector and less on the private sector. This was, however, discarded as a myth, as Myburgh pointed out that he exposed both private and public sector dealings in order to provide the full scope of involved parties.

Focusing on whistle blowers, the panel challenged the verification of whistle-blower information. Myburgh responded that journalists never use only one whistle-blower’s evidence, since that is merely the start of the investigation. Further investigation was necessary, and facts had to be verified. With that said, there is still a lot to be done with regard to the protection of whistle-blowers, he concluded.

The floor was opened to the audience, which provided the opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns about what was mentioned during the panel discussion. The audience eagerly participated in the discussion. In conclusion, Myburgh reiterated that society plays a vital role in keeping those in power to the promises they make.

After the discussion, the audience had the opportunity to have their books signed by the author.

News Archive

Teacher professionalism and status under Commonwealth radar
2010-03-26

 
From the left are: Ms Simone De Cormarmond, Chairperson: Commonwealth Foundation; Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, University of the Free State (UFS); Mr Samuel Isaacs, CEO: SAQA; and Dr Carol Anne Spreen, Lecturer at the University of Maryland, USA).
Photo: Ian van Straaten


International delegates attending the 5th Annual Commonwealth Teacher Research Symposium held at the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein this week unanimously agreed that more research still had to be done on issues of recognition, registration and standards affecting teachers and teaching across Commonwealth countries.

This two-day gathering of researchers, officials and representatives of regional international organisations and higher education institutions agreed that issues of teacher migration, the professionalism of teachers, teacher preparation and the use of teaching standards, as well as the comparability and recognition of teacher qualifications should be further researched.

The delegates agreed on the following based on the research and data that were presented and shared with all the participants:

Teacher migration is recognised as an increasing global phenomenon that requires ongoing research in the Commonwealth.
Recognising that inequalities and differences within and across Commonwealth countries exist, and considering that fair and ethical treatment in the international recruitment of teachers is an important cornerstone of the Commonwealth Teacher Recruitment Protocol.

Teacher training, the recognition of teacher qualifications, the professional registration of teachers and the development of professional teacher standards should be actively encouraged through ongoing pan-Commonwealth research.

An increased acknowledgement of the role of the professionalisation of teachers through an improved understanding of teacher qualifications and standards.
There should be a specific research focus on teacher preparation and the use of teaching standards.

An increased comparability and recognition of teacher qualifications across Commonwealth countries should be actively encouraged.
Advocacy of teachers’ rights, effective protection of the vulnerable teacher, and appropriate strategies should be promoted to uplift the status of teachers and teaching as a profession.

The Commonwealth Teacher Recruitment Protocol, amongst other things, aims to balance the rights of teachers to migrate internationally against the need to protect the integrity of national education systems, and to prevent the exploitation of the scarce human resources of poor countries.

Delivering his keynote address at the symposium, the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, decried the quality of professional qualifications in South Africa.

“We have become very good at manufacturing outcomes. We actually have become very good at giving an impression of having achieved particular outcomes without having achieved them at all,” he said.
“So what does it mean to talk about outcomes in an unequal country with unequal resources? What does it mean to talk about qualifications when we do not trust the outcomes?”

He suggested that the teaching profession should be subjected to a peer review mechanism and that the practice of setting minimum standards should be dealt away with because it results in minimum outcomes.

Dr Carol Anne Spreen, lecturer at the University of Maryland in the USA, proposed that countries should improve the quality of their own teachers instead of importing teachers from other countries.

The research symposium was organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat and hosted by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and the UFS.

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

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept