Tag Archives: education

The Place of Sara Baartman at UCT

The label “Hottentot Venus” continues to haunt our memory of Sara Baartman. This moniker, used in Jean Reaux’s posters to advertise the exhibit of Sara, may have been repudiated by renowned scholars such as Pumla Dineo Gqola, Zine Magubane, Yvette Abrahams, Patricia Hill Collins, Sander Gilman among others, but it has persisted as the lens…

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Committed to teaching in the midst of smog: Five turnaround strategies for rural schools

By Lehlohonolo Mofokeng There is no shortage of evidence that our basic education is in shreds. That being said, the question that we should be asking ourselves is: how do we get out of this mess? How do we ensure that our learners, in spite of an already established culture of mediocrity, start to believe…

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Some Remarks On A ‘Good’ University

Manzini reflected upon her recent experiences at her new institution. I won’t comment on most of those reflections, and would rather focus on her closing remarks. She asks, “Ultimately, on whose standards do we measure and determine whether a university is ‘good’ or not?” There are two implicit questions here. First, is there but one…

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Aesthetics of power and questioning what a ‘good’ university is

By Nompumelelo Zinhle Manzini It’s been two weeks of being at the University of Zululand (UniZulu) as a contract lecturer for the Philosophy Department. Perhaps these personal reflections are slightly premature but I think that they do bear some merit. I have only been on the main campus which is in Kwadlangezwa, which is in…

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Equality and intellectual emancipation

How does one achieve the intellectual emancipation of students, or, for that matter, of anyone, including yourself? The answer most people would probably give to this question, is that it is done through education and learning. To be sure, but what one learns from the French philosopher, Jacques Rancière, is that a great deal depends…

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The pro-poor rhetoric of the ANC government has failed to translate into meaningful economic policy

In my previous Op-Ed in this column I raised a serious concern whether the ANC-led government has paid required attention and effort to effectively address the structural manifestations of the apartheid legacy in a systematic and vigorous way beyond the usual public rhetoric about the evils of the system and the often repeated promise of…

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Has the time for ‘talks about talks’ come in SA?

The student protests of the last year are reminiscent of the 1976 student uprisings. Those protests were the precursor to a political change in South Africa less than a decade later. When young, educated “born free” South Africans express anger and impatience it’s time to pay attention. They have shown they want action. They want…

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On black excellence: Charlotte Mannya Maxeke

I’ve been reading Zubeida Jaffer’s biography of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke, Beauty of the Heart. I was very excited at the prospect of finally having a book available about a woman who is mostly known through the hospital that is named after her in Johannesburg. Beyond the hospital naming, I doubt she is a household name….

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A letter to a mother who raised black girls

Dear Mama I don’t know if you’ve seen the news: young girls at Pretoria Girls High School have been in the news because their school has racist hair rules. Apparently their some of their parents don’t agree with their protest. What has also been in the news is the story about 3000 girls in the…

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Children shouldn’t have to trade off their identity for a good education

It was 1998 and my nine-year old self was late for a phys-ed swimming class. I vividly remember walking into the swimming pool gates and being firmly reprimanded by the teacher who was furious at me. He then proceeded to call me a “kaffir” in front of the whole class. I had never heard the…

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