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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

UFS student government elections declared free and fair
2015-09-04

The 2015/2016 Student Representative Council (SRC) elections on the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses of the University of the Free State (UFS) have been declared free and fair.

The institutional Independent Election Commission Chairperson, Mandla Ndlangamandla, commended the high level of cooperation displayed by all students who participated in the peaceful and organised elections on the Qwaqwa Campus.

“We are proud to indicate that from the beginning of the election process, there were no incidents of intimidation, disruption, threats, and violence that were reported,” he said.

Announcing the election results at Bloemfontein Campus, the representative of the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), Andrew Ndelele, also confirmed that the commission had ensured that the elections were credible.

Voter turn-out increased at both campuses compared to the previous year. The elections, which took place from Friday 28 August to 1 September 2015, saw 8% and 0.7% increases in votes casted at the Qwaqwa and Bloemfontein Campuses, respectively. 

Paseka Sikhosana, President-elect of the Qwaqwa Campus, commended the unity and orderliness displayed by students: “After the polling stations had closed, we came together and sang in peace”.

Incoming SRC President of the Bloemfontein Campus, Lindokuhle Ntuli, also endorsed the impartiality of the elections, while expressing how humbled he was by the support he received during the campaigning period.

Bloemfontein elective portfolios:



Bloemfontein Campus president: Lindokuhle Ntuli
Photo: Johan Roux

President: Lindokuhle Ntuli
Vice-President: Mpho Khati
Secretary: Tsietso Mafaso
Treasurer: Katleho Masheane
Culture: Delia Moumakwe
Sport: Kabelo Elijah Noosi
Transformation: Katleho Mmolayeng Letube
Student Accessibility and Support: Victor Fana Sejane
Media and Marketing: Peo Morwesi Segano
First-generation students: Nicola King
Legal and Constitutional Affairs: Luke Harrold Small
Student Development and Environment: Karabo Pheko

Bloemfontein ex officio portfolios:

Associations Student Council: Sikhulekile Luwaca
Academic Affairs Student Council: Letsika Liqoalane
Campus Residences Student Council: Ingrid Wentzel
Commuter Student Council: Audrey Sithebe
Postgraduate Student Council: Kamogelo Dithebe
International Student Council: Takudzwa Gezi
Student Media Council: Hatsu Mphatsoe
Rag Fundraising Council: Tubatsi Moloi
Rag Community Service Council: Johan Diedericks

Qwaqwa Campus president: Paseka Sikhosane
Photo: Thabo Kessah

Qwaqwa elective portfolios:

President: Paseka Sikhosane
Vice-President: Zethu Mhlongo
Secretary: Nondumiso Langa
Treasurer: Palesa Selepe
Student Development and Environmental Affairs: Lindokuhle Ngubane
Media and Publicity: Bongiwe Buthelezi
Politics and Transformation: Nthabiseng Mokoena

Qwaqwa ex officio portfolios:

Academic Affairs: Edward Nkadimeng              
Arts and Culture: Kwenzakwenkosi Mthethwa
Sports Affairs: Thabo Zengele                           
Rag and Dialogue: Dieketseng Mokoena
Religious Affairs: Mamosebetsi Mokoena         
Residence Affairs: Pheletso Moekoa
Off-Campus: Nicholas Sibeko

 

 

 

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