Mandela Rhodes Scholars

UKZN crisis – a letter to management

As has been reported in several media sources, the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) faces another crisis, several contract staff members have not been paid for up to four months of work. Many of those who have been paid have not been paid in full. UKZN management has consistently denied or downplayed the issue, as…

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Sex for sale: The state as pimp

By Zuki Mqolomba Debates on adult prostitution have been raging on in South Africa’s public and legal domains since the 1990s. Debates surfaced in 2007 when Labour Court judge Halton Cheadle ruled on the “Kylie” vs Michelle van Zyl case. The debates spiraled once again in light of the foregone 2010 Fifa World Cup, with…

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Apartheid nostalgia, education and agency

By Athambile Masola The media coverage about the shambolic state of education in South Africa (with a recent focus on the Eastern Cape) is disturbing. The views vacillate between inspiring hope for change and declaring doom over the future of the thousands of young people whose right to basic education is being flouted in the…

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Do schools kill creativity?

By Athambile Masola As a new teacher, I have a vested interest in education and I’m always wondering about how to be innovative. I recently had a SMART Board and a data projector installed in my classroom. I was astonished as my learners entered the classroom agog, declaring, “Ma’am your classroom’s been pimped … upgraded!”…

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An industrial revolution for whom?

By Alex Lenferna As a person who is going to live quite a bit longer than President Zuma, (or so I hope, although perhaps six wives supported by the state is the key to longevity) the State of the Nation address (SONA) was worrying. Not only did Zuma spark a rather ironic note by swearing…

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What is the purpose of our education?

By Mario Meyer Tony Blair once said: “Ask me my three main priorities for government, and I tell you: education, education and education.” It is well documented that the South African education system at large, and its primary and secondary public schooling system in particular, is in a state of chronic crises. A large majority…

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Language and inequalities in education

By Athambile Masola As a language teacher, I have been following the furore about African languages being axed from schools with great interest. I have been reading and trying not to be cynical about every new article announcing that yet another school will no longer offer isiZulu or isiXhosa in the foundation phase. There have…

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COP17: Nothing to celebrate

By Alex Lenferna As COP17 finished on Sunday morning 5am, 36 hours into overtime, many celebrated the development of what is being referred to as the Durban Package. The South African lead negotiator, Alf Wills, among others, sees the Durban Package as a comprehensive deal that has taken into account the necessary compromise and has…

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But gay is a Western invention

By Matthew Beetar Wow, go Hillary Clinton! As a friend on Facebook said, “It’s about time that the world’s most powerful leaders started acting like leaders”. In her recent speech made before the UN, the US Secretary of State argues, in short, that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) rights are human rights, concluding that…

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So much writing, is anyone reading?

By Suntosh Pillay It started innocently enough. But then again, I should have known better. My parents always said don’t go into strange places with strange people. But I couldn’t resist. Before I knew it, I was knee-deep in the online jungle called Amazon. Special offers were popping up in every corner. Books that I’ve…

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