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12 September 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Arbor tree plant
To celebrate National Arbor Week the University of the Free State has embarked on a drive to plant 150 trees during the month of September

If you’ve wondered whether Arbor Month was important, you only have to look at the destruction and long-term damage that deforestation causes to the environment and the world’s inhabitants. To observe National Arbor Month, the University of the Free State’s has (UFS) kick-started a drive to plant 150 trees during the month of September.

To launch this initiative, the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, alongside members of the rectorate, assisted the University Estates team in planting the first 10 of 100 trees at the Bloemfontein Campus on Wednesday 4 September 2019. A total of 50 trees will be planted on the Qwaqwa Campus.

Towards a sustainable future

“We have gone through periods of drought in the Free State that have severely impacted not only the plants but the trees on our campuses. The idea is to emphasise sustainability, and as a university, we believe that sustainability is important. As an education institution, we have to look at the generations that are still to come to our campuses,” said Prof Petersen.

He urged the Kovsie community to ensure that all practices across the campuses are linked to global standards of sustainability. “As we develop over the next couple of months and years, we will get much closer alignment between what we are doing as a university and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Drought-resistant man-made forests

Clusters of mini forests across the campuses will be created with a variety of trees including the karee, white karee, white stinkwood, and wild olive. These indigenous trees can adapt well to different soils including those that are poorly drained.

Celebrating Arbor Week

This year’s campaign was held under the theme Forests and Sustainable Cities. As part of the celebration, University Estates made a commitment to the environment by embarking on the green initiative which includes other project such as the upgrade of Red Square on the Bloemfontein Campus.

News Archive

African values important for transformation, says deputy minister
2007-11-06

The Deputy Minister of Education, Mr Enver Surty, says real transformation in education cannot take place if African values and belief systems are not put at the centre of educational practices.

Mr Surty was speaking last night at the launch of the Centre for Africa Studies at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein.

According to the Deputy Minister of Education, the launch of the Centre for Africa Studies at the University of the Free State shows a strong commitment by the university to transformation.

“It shows the readiness on the part of the institution to create and consolidate space for African epistemologies as a way of reclaiming our African identity”, Mr Surty said.

He said the launch provided all stakeholders with a golden opportunity to influence curriculum development in schools so that it better reflects the understanding and the desire to learn more about Africa. He said this cannot happen without a sound knowledge produced by Africans, which can then be shared with the rest of humanity.

“It is no longer tenable that African scholars should take a back seat and merely consume, often uncritically, knowledge systems that have been produced and sifted through other minds. Similarly, our intellectual pursuits cannot take place in isolation. Indeed our fountains of knowledge could only be deepened with more exposure to, and critical engagement with other systems of knowledge across the world”, he said.

According to the Director of the Africa Studies Programme at the UFS, Prof Phillip Nel, the Centre for Africa Studies will focus on the issues and challenges of Africa and make the context of Africa a part of the UFS’s academic activities in a sustained and innovative way.

The centre will closely co-operate and liaise with prominent African initiatives and structures like the African Union, Pan-African Parliament, Southern African Development Community (SADC), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and many others.

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

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