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30 March 2021 | Story Dikgapane Makgetha | Photo Supplied
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. 

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Breyten Breytenbach to speak on poetry and philosophy at UFS
2013-02-22

 

Breyten Breytenbach
Photo: Supplied
22 February 2013

The Department Philosophy is hosting a public lecture and panel discussion with the poet Breyten Breytenbach on poetry and philosophy on Wednesday 27 February 2013. Breytenbach will read from work that has never before been heard in public. Members of the public will also be able to ask him questions. The discussion will be in Afrikaans, with simultaneous interpretation to English and Sesotho. Entrance is free.

  • Wednesday 27 February 2013
  • 15:00
  • Odeion

Enquiries can be directed to Johann Rossouw at rossouwjh@ufs.ac.za

Short Breyten Breytenbach biography:

Breyten Breytenbach was born in 1939 on the banks of the Breede River in the Little Karoo. He studied at the Michaelis School of Fine Arts at the University of Cape Town and left South Africa in 1959. His exile was confirmed after the Sharpeville massacre and his marriage to Yolande Ngo Thi Hoang Lien of Vietnamese origin, which brought him into conflict with the Mixed Marriages Act and the Immorality Act.

In 1964 he began publishing poetry, as well as prose. Since the early sixties of the previous century, he started exhibiting in various European art galleries. In 1975 he clandestinely returned to South Africa where he spent seven-and-a-half years of a nine-year sentence for terrorism in South African prisons. He lectured at various universities in both South Africa and the United States. He helped establish the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, and was co-founder of the Gorée Institute in Dakar, Senegal, where he is still involved. He works from Catalonia, Paris and Gorée.

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