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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. 

News Archive

Shimlas now second on Varsity Cup log
2015-02-25

After scoring nine tries to none to establish a 57-0 win over the Central University of Technology’s (CUT) Ixias in round three of the 2015 Varsity Cup Rugby Tournament, the UFS Shimlas are now second on the overall log.

Despite thunder showers in Bloemfontein on the evening of Monday 23 February, the match at the CUT Rugby Stadium continued. Shimlas’ Arthur Williams opened the scoreboard early with the first try of the evening, after getting his hands on a loose ball to break through the CUT defense line. Only four minutes later, Shimlas’ flank Gerhard Olivier scored another try. Both of these tries were successfully converted by Niel Marais, putting Shimlas in a 16-0 lead within less than seven minutes.

By halftime, the Shimlas’ lead had increased to 39-0. Daniel Maartens started the second-half scoring for the UFS when he crossed the try line in the 46th minute to secure Shimlas’ seventh try. After another successful conversion kick by Marais, the scoreboard read 47-0.

The match began to lose its spark as handling errors and ill-discipline became the order of the day. CUT were reduced to 14 men for the second time in the match, when Boetie Makethlo was sent to the sin bin in the 75th minute for an infringement at the breakdown, inches away from his try line.

Maartens went over the try line again in the 78th minute, scoring Shimlas’ eighth try in the match and taking his team’s score beyond the 50 mark. Shimlas managed yet another try in the last minute, with Niell Jordaan diving over the try line for old time’s sake.

Although the Shimlas’ 2015 Varsity Cup started off with a 29-29 draw against the University of Pretoria’s Tuks in Bloemfontein, they returned the following week to clinch a 24-0 win against the University of Johannesburg at the UJ Stadium. Apart from Tuks, who is at this stage on top of the log, no team has scored against Shimlas thus far in the 2015 Varsity Cup.

Up next, Shimlas will face the Stellenbosch University’s Maties side at Shimla Park in Bloemfontein for round four of the tournament on Monday 2 March 2015.

Our Player that Rocks: Niell Jordaan

Shimlas’ point scorers:

Tries: Arthur Williams, Gerhard Olivier (2), Marco Klopper, Vuyani Maqina (2), Daniel Maartens (2), Niell Jordaan
Conversion kicks: Niel Marais 4

 

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