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28 May 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa
Siphila Dlamini
Siphila Dlamini represented the UFS at the 15th Southern Africa Scout Youth Forum.

During the short April holidays, first-year BA student, Siphila Dlamini, led and participated in the 15th Southern Africa Scout Youth Forum and the 41st Southern Africa Scout Conference. Siphila previously also represented South Africa in the 8th and 13th World Scout Youth Forums in Baku, Azerbaijan and Harare, Zimbabwe respectively. He also participated in the 2018 International Leadership Training in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Siphila was elected as a member of the Southern Africa Youth Committee for the term 2017-2020, with the mandate of representing young leaders in decision making and youth engagement at Zonal level of the Southern Africa Scout Youth Forum.

He formed part of the forum committee and chaired several sessions of the proceedings since the tender age of 14. Youth leaders from Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries such as Botswana, the Kingdom of Eswatini, Malawi, South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe attended the conference. 

This 15th forum was themed ‘The Role of young people during emergencies’. Throughout the forum, young people deliberated on strategies to improve decision making in national scout organisations within their respective countries. The Southern Zone Youth Forum empowers young people by equipping them with good decision-making skills and increasing youth engagement on the African continent. 

According to Siphila, the Southern Zone Youth Forum is an effective tool for youth engagement and the continuation of skills development among young people in Southern Africa. It allows the youth to reflect on their growth and achievement, while broadening the unique impact of scouting in the world. 

News Archive

Project aims to boost science pass rate
2009-01-19

 
Attending the launch of the HP grant of about R1 million to the UFS are, from the left: Mr Leon Erasmus, Country Manager for HP Technology Services in South Africa, Prof. Teuns Verschoor, Acting Rector of the UFS, and Mr Cobus van Breda, researcher at the UFS's Centre for Education Development and manager of the project.
Photo: Lacea Loader
The University of the Free State (UFS), in partnership with computer giant Hewlett Packard (HP), wants to boost the pass rate of its science students by using mobile technology.

The UFS is one of only 15 universities across Europe, the Middle East and Africa and the only university in South Africa to receive a grant from HP to promote mobile technology for teaching in higher education valued at USD$ 100,000 (or about R1 million). Altogether 80 universities from 28 countries applied for the grant.

“Last year HP invited a number of selected universities to submit proposals in which they had to explain how they are going to utilise mobile technologies in the redesign of a course that is presented at the university. The proposal of the Centre for Education Development (CED) at the UFS entitled “Understanding Physics through data logging” was accepted,” says Mr Cobus van Breda, researcher at CED and manager of the project.

According to Mr van Breda, students who do not meet the entrance requirements for the three-year B.Sc. programme have to enroll for the four-year curriculum with the first year actually preparing them for the three-year curriculum.

In order to increase the success rate of these students, the project envisages to enhance their understanding of science principles by utilising the advantages of personal computer (PC) tablet technology and other information and communication technologies (ICT) to support effective teaching and learning methodology.

“By using PC tablet technology in collaboration with data-logging software, a personal response system, the internet and other interactive ICT applications, an environment different from a traditional teaching milieu is created. This will consequently result in a different approach to addressing students’ learning issues,” says Mr van Breda.

The pilot project was launched during the fourth term of 2008 when 130 first-year B.Sc. students (of the four-year curriculum) did the practical component of the physics section of the Concepts in General Science (CGS) module by conducting experiments in a computerised laboratory, using data-logging software amongst other technology applications. “The pilot project delivered good results and students found the interactive application very helpful,” says Mr van Breda.

”The unique feature of the latter is the fact that real-life data can be collected with electronic sensors and instantly presented as computer graphs. It can then be analysed and interpreted immediately, thus more time can be devoted to actual Science principles and phenomena and less time on time-consuming data processing,” says Mr van Breda.

The CGS module can be seen as a prerequisite for further studies in physics at university level and in this regard it is of essence to keep looking for new models of learning and teaching which can result in student success. This year the theoretical and practical component of the physics section of the CGS programme will be done in an integrated manner.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
16 January 2009
 

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