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Social Work students at the UFS are working with the relevant stakeholders in an Engaged Teaching and Learning service-learning project to promote and respect children’s rights.

The protection of children’s rights is the principal achievement on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 Agenda. Emphasis has always been on the promotion and respect of children’s rights. Since the SDGs are grounded in a child rights-based approach, the University of the Free State (UFS) Social Work students – by engaging in a multi-disciplinary methodology – involve all the relevant stakeholders in their Engaged Teaching and Learning service-learning module project. 

The social partners, which included the South African Police Service (Child Protection Unit), the Department of Social Development, the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Health, faith-based organisations, and other children’s advocacy agents, were involved from inception until the apex launch of the project. 

Access to basic human rights

In their exit level, fourth-year Social Work students participate in community work practicums, which incorporates the theoretical development process in adherence to the objectives of their community work. The initial phase of the project involved the situation analysis exercise, which the students implemented through collaboration with the Rekgonne Primary School action committee. 

The outcome of the survey indicated that some learners were exposed to physical and sexual abuse. It was also found that they did not have access to basic human rights such as education, health care, and social grants due to the absence of the required legal documents. From the interactive discussions that took place during the launch, it emerged that some children do not have birth certificates required for school registration and access to social grants. 

Through the students’ community project, a platform was created where important skills and information could be shared among all important role players (who are in different professions and guardians of children’s human rights). It is believed that since learners are spending more hours in school, educators would be the primary detectors to notice signs of negligence and potentially adverse circumstances among their learners.

Role players collaborate to make a difference

Through the scholarship of engagement, students succeeded in engaging with the community to attend to societal challenges (violated children’s rights). In order to realise the outcome of the project, continuous collaboration among all role players must be sustained. All parties adopted a resolution to create safe environments both at school and at home by supporting families and caregivers.

Government partners that participated were determined to strengthen protection systems and improve child welfare, reinforcing the implementation of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005.  Educators were empowered and supported in the mandate of the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign (QLTC). This is an initiative that involves stakeholders in improving the quality of education for all children and addresses issues of safety and well-being for all children. 

News Archive

Rector: Three candidates to make public appearances
2009-02-15

 
Prof Jonathan Jansen
 
Prof Nthabiseng Ogude
 
Prof Herman van Schalkwyk

Statement by Judge Faan Hancke, Chairperson of the Council of the University ff the Free State

The Selection Committee for the appointment of Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS) has short-listed three candidates for the position. They are:

  • Prof. Jonathan Jansen, former Dean of Education at the University of Pretoria;
  • Prof. Herman van Schalkwyk, Dean: Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the UFS; and
  • Prof. Nthabiseng Ogude, Vice-Rector of the University of Pretoria for the position.

On Monday, 16 February 2009 the three candidates will introduce themselves to the university community at a public session to present their vision and view of their role as rector and vice-chancellor of the UFS. This will take place at 16:00 in the Odeion on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein.

The Senate will vote on Tuesday, 17 February 2009 for the three candidates in terms of appointability and preference and the Institutional Forum meets on Thursday, 19 February 2009 to advise Council regarding the appointment.

The UFS Council will meet on Friday, 13 March 2009 to make a final decision.

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  
6 February 2009
 

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