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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

Getting out of the dark
2015-06-10

 

ESKOM is making daily announcements on the status of the power grid.

Anton Calitz, Electrical Engineer at University Estates, is in continuous contact with Eskom and Centlec in an effort to stay abreast of load shedding.

According to Anton, Eskom has recently - the week of 20 April - been focusing on the evening peak, and has announced STAGE 1 load shedding from 17:00-22:00; thus, the Bloemfontein Campus should be able to continue business as usual during the day, except for Thursdays from 18:00 and, possibly, Fridays from 17:00.

Where can I get more information about load shedding stages?

Apart from Eskom’s webpage, staff can also visit GRID WATCH. Click on "Search", then under "Schedules". Look for "Mangaung Local Municipality", and select "GROUP 4". Save this location. “This can even be loaded onto your mobile device.”

“The time slots can be seen for a couple of days in advance, to allow us to plan around the possibility of load shedding in our daily lives,” said Anton.

Please note: ESKOM can change the STAGE level at any time. Therefore, keep an eye on GRID WATCH and News24.

View the typical seven-day planner for the Bloemfontein Campus (Group 4), which indicates the STAGE 2 and 3 possibilities. Take note that, on some days, the STAGE 2 and 3 time slots are the same.

More load shedding tips: Your IT needs

The UFS Data Centre (Computer Room) is fully serviced by a generator facility, and can function without external power supply for a few days.

The generator servicing the UFS data centre does NOT provide power to the outlying facilities. This implies that all digital equipment at gates, booms, and access points will be shut down until the power is restored to these facilities. “We are now, in collaboration with Nico Janse van Rensburg, in a process to install UPS facilities at these points, which will ensure two to three hours of power supply at these points, even during load shedding,” said Dr Vic Coetzee, Senior Director: ICT Services.

No Wi-Fi will be available, as it is dependent on the power supply to the buildings where it is installed.

All servers are contained in the data centre, and will be kept running by our generators.

How to manage load shedding and your IT needs:

1. Get into the habit of saving your work regularly on computer so that you don’t lose your work/files during load shedding.
2. Back up important data. Keep to a schedule of regular back-up.  Make sure your computer back-ups are safe and recoverable.
3. Keep all electronic devices charged and ready to run on battery power. Keep your cellphone charged: some old-style Telkom landlines will still operate during power outages, but others won't.
4. Remember, when power supply is restored, it sometimes happens that a power surge is sent through the network, which will damage your computer.  Fortunately, laptop computers will not suffer this fate as their power is provided through an external power pack. Often, this power pack will be damaged, but not the laptop itself.
5. It makes good sense to reboot your computer daily, not only in terms of power shedding, but also in terms of updating the drivers, software, etc.
6. Switch off all computers and other electrical equipment at the wall plug overnight and on weekends.
7. Should your IT equipment not switch on after a power outage, log a call with the ICT Services. You can also call them at x2000.

More information, guidelines and contact numbers

 

 

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