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SA matric ‘a good, solid qualification’

first_imgThe report, released in Johannesburg on Wednesday, compared the NSC certificate with the Cambridge International Examinations and the International Baccalaureate Organisation as well as the Namibian Senior Certificate. “Our findings are that this qualification [NSC] is pitched at the correct level. It has got the necessary requirements of a robust qualification .the learners who pass this certificate can compete favourably with learners from other education systems,” Umalusi CEO Rakometsi Mafu said at the release of the report. Equitable admissions policy Hesa manager Cobus Lotter said the research compared the NSC to the Cambridge International Examinations because it had a footprint in South Africa. Data indicates that it has more than 40 centres in the country and over 150 worldwide. 12 August 2010 Source: BuaNews “The South African public can be reassured that the NSC is a good, solid, robust qualification,” said Burroughs. ‘Good, solid qualification’center_img She added that one of the recommendations of the report was to highlight the importance of good teacher training “so that we maintain our credibility in the international education landscape”. Based on these findings, Hesa will then formulate an equitable policy that will lead to consistency in admission decisions. Hesa’s criticisms do, however, hint that there is a clear need for well-qualified teachers in South Africa. Liz Burroughs, a senior manager at Umalusi, said the main aim of the study was to establish the continuity of standards between the old and new qualifications. The NSC replaced the Senior Certificate in 2008. Already, South Africa was the eighth most favourable university destination in the world, he said. The report will further assist in determining the minimum requirements for admission to degree, diploma and higher certificate admission status in the country. A new report issued by education quality assuror Umalusi and Higher Education South Africa (Hesa) finds that the National Senior Certificate (NSC) and its curriculum are on par with international standards, and are favourable when compared to other international qualifications.last_img read more

House firing up Swazi art scene

first_imgFrom left, artists Noah Mdluli, Phuzu Mtshali, Shadruck Masuku and Jiggs Thorne in a screen grab from the House on Fire website. House on Fire was carved out of local materials in all kinds of shapes, figures and towers. It is a castle where colourful mosaics line the walls, impressive sculptures hang from the ceiling and sprout from the ground, and detail is infused in every inch. (Images: House on Fire) MEDIA CONTACTS • House on Fire +268 528 2110 [email protected] RELATED ARTICLES • Showy and subversive: Holy Afro! • SA’s ‘zef’ trio thrash music scene • South African art • SA art snapped up at UK auction • Mines, headgear and the mindFour men are changing the global image of Swaziland one artwork at a time, as the group running the whimsical art-filled castle that is House on Fire work to turn their country, one of the smallest in Africa, into the most happening place on the continent.House on Fire is the brainchild of Jiggs Thorne, a formally trained Swazi artist. Where others saw tourist craft markets Thorne saw undiscovered artists, untapped potential, and partners – in the form of Noah Mdluli, Phuzu Mtshali, and Shadruck Masuku – for his new venture. Concerned about how many talented young people in his country struggled to make a living and had no vehicle to display their work, Thorne took action.“I started to work with road-side carvers that had a lot of humour and it played to my senses,” he said. “At some point I realised that we needed to come together under the same roof. We needed to build a platform to inspire the arts in Swaziland and that was really the inspiration for designing the space.“Our history is really from roadside to gallery.”The gallery in which the group work and collaborate is an art-filled castle of impressive proportions, what resident artists call their “fantasy-scape” and one that has steadily become a national point of reference.The space was carved out of local materials in all kinds of shapes, figures and towers. It is a castle where colourful mosaics line the walls, impressive sculptures hang from the ceiling and sprout from the ground, and detail is infused in every inch. It is a magical marriage between Gaudi’s architecture, Picasso’s distorted shapes, and Southern African carving; surreal and comfortable, it also includes a stage and garden.A far cry from traditional development projects, House on Fire is a local artist’s alliance.“We are a collaborative team in a real relationship because we need each other to succeed,” Thorne said. “We absolutely could not make it without each other.” He said art buyers were sometimes confused by their inability to attribute a single author to their pieces. “But we cannot, because we work in synergy.”The group’s work expands beyond running their fantasy gallery. Aside from creating sculpture, carving, and installation art, they promote events and music performances, and are involved in community action. House on Fire is open day and night to both locals and visitors.“A really exiting part of this is the idea of a cultural meeting point,” said Thorne. “We call that the ‘juncture of hum’.”Part of what the space does, by virtue of its location in rural Swaziland, is challenge stereotypes. “You can be an artist in Swaziland, and artists can share their stories and create a new language that has relevance,” Thorne said.The Swazi landscape is dominated by sugarcane plantations, plain fields, natural reserves, and small towns. Driving past the capital, Mbabane, it is hard to imagine that a gallery and cultural space of spectacular proportions hides at the next roadside exit.The national economy is supported by tourism and agriculture, but poverty remains calamitous. Swaziland is one of the poorest countries in the world and faces increased challenges due to the HIV/Aids pandemic. The country has the highest HIV prevalence rate worldwide and the United Nations estimates life expectancy to be 32.5 years of age, the lowest on the planet.Not discouraged by the statistics and challenges, House on Fire and its artists became involved in artfully fighting poverty. “We already had House on Fire and the idea was to let that fire spread though the walls and into a wider space. We set our sites high,” said Thorne.“Our work is about accepting that you have a story to tell and a mandate to carry on your own message. House on Fire is a conscious platform; we recognise the need to develop the local arts, but we also act on the concerns that affect us all as Swazis.”With this in mind, House on Fire created Bushfire, a music festival that brings musicians from all over Africa to Swaziland and raises funds to fight local poverty. The 2010 edition of the Bushfire Festival had more than 19 000 visitors over three days of concerts.Profits benefit Young Heroes of Swaziland, an independent organisation that supports local Aids orphans. The issue is pressing in a country of 1.5-million, where an estimated 80 000 children have been left parentless due to the pandemic.For critics who have difficulty imagining art as important in developing Swaziland, Thorne said: “The idea of creation for creation’s sake is not very well understood here. But we have made this conscious decision to start specialising and cultivating a special language and sense of identity through our work.”The numbers back up Thorne and the House on Fire group. The conservative estimate is that this year’s Bushfire Festival injected R6-million (US$830 000) into Swaziland’s economy.The next Bushfire Festival is planned for 27 to 29 May 2011. In the meantime, the House on Fire foursome have an upcoming art project: carving whimsical armours and dressing their bodies as a league of Swazi Knights. Nothing could seem more appropriate.Source: MediaGloballast_img read more

South African school science project takes on maize toxins

first_img21 April 2016Two CT Matrics have discovered low-cost ways to reduce the amount of mycotoxin in maize – they will save many lives! pic.twitter.com/jGlDI5Xtrd— Julia Joubert (@JulzJoubert) April 19, 2016Two matric learners from Khayelitsha, Kholiswa Ntshinga and Yolanda Nkala, have discovered a low-cost way to reduce the amount of mycotoxin-producing fungi in maize.Mycotoxin poisoning can damage the human nervous system as well as cause growth stunting in children and cancers, in particular liver and oesophageal.During their initial field research, studying the crops of subsistence farmers in rural Eastern Cape, the learners found that the maize, which is grown without the use of pesticides, showed dangerous levels of mycotoxins. They also found cases of oesophageal cancer in residents who drank traditional maize beer contaminated with the toxin. Maize is the staple food of residents in the area, as well as thousands of people across the country who grow their own crops.Using their research, the learners developed a preliminary process that theoretically could remove the toxins more easily and closer to the source of the food. While details of the process are still being verified by biologists, it has already drawn the attention of some of the country’s leading experts in the field.Wentzel Gelderblom, director of the Institute of Biomedical and Microbial Biotechnology at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, said their research could definitely help save many lives.“These young girls are brilliant. They are now part of a global scientific community that is finding ways to eliminate human exposure to mycotoxins and we need more of that,” Gelderblom told TimesLive.In addition to winning two South Africa science prizes, the Expo for Young Scientists and Eskom’s International Science Fair, the two learners were also selected to submit their findings to the Beijing International Science Fair earlier this year, where they won silver medals in the medicines category and a special award for innovation in agriculture.Nkala was selected as one of Mail and Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans 2015 for her continuing work in agriculture science and app development. Ntshinga is currently studying program coding at Code4Africa.Source: South African Expo for Young Scientistslast_img read more

World Superbike Champs to return to SA

first_img2 December 2013South African motorcycle racing fans are in for a special treat next year with the World Superbike Championship set to return to the country after a break of three years.South Africa was included when the the official calendar for the 2014 FIM World Superbike Championship was released on Friday. The sole African round of the Championship will take place at the Phakisa Freeway in Welkom, Free State province on 19 October.Contracts signed“We have signed a terms of contract short-form agreement with Dorna, the WSBK Promoters, and will enter into a long-form agreement subject to certain conditions being met,” Anthony Lauter of GAS Sports, who are organising the South African event, said in a statement.“We already have the blessing of the Free State Tourism Authority to use the circuit they own just outside Welkom. We still need to secure the necessary financial guarantees required by Dorna, and the Phakisa Freeway must first pass an FIM circuit inspection,” he added.“We’re confident we will meet these conditions in good time and are excited to be bringing this immensely popular motorcycle racing series back to South Africa,” Lauter said.“The race weekend programme will also include a round of the World Supersport Championship and several top South African riders can be expected to be seen in action.”‘Congratulations’Adrian Scholtz, the CEO of operations for Motorsport South Africa (MSA), said: “MSA warmly welcomes the news that the FIM World Superbike Championship will be returning to South African shores in 2014 and extends its congratulations and appreciation to the promoter, GAS Sports, for securing the event.“It has been a few years since world championship motorsport was last seen on a South African race circuit and the event will be a welcome shot in the arm for local motorsport.”‘Delighted’World Superbike Championship (SBK) executive director Javier Alonso said he was excited that the championship was returning to South Africa: “We are delighted to come back to South Africa at Phakisa Freeway, where we had very good experiences in the past. We are therefore confident about the success of the event, bearing in mind the existing culture and passion for motorcycling in South Africa.“We are planning to visit the circuit in the following days together with the FIM representatives in order to move forward with the homologation, contractual and event preparation procedures.”Big name starsSince its introduction in 1988, the World Superbike Championship has produced some big name stars, including former champions Max Biaggi, Carlos Checa, Troy Bayliss, Troy Corser, Carl Fogarty and John Kocinsky.The 2013 championship was won by Englishman Tom Sykes on a Kawasaki, ahead of Aprilia riders Eugene Laverty of Northern Ireland and France’s Sylvain Guintoli.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast – April 9, 2019

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jeremy Kappell, Ohio Ag Net MeteorologistIt’s shaping up to be a very nice Tuesday across the Buckeye State with abundant sunshine returning and relatively mild temps temps in the low to middle 60’s for most areas, a little cooler for areas downwind of Lake Erie.  The blue sky will be accompanied by a gusty northwest breeze on the order of 15 to 25 mph.We’ll start off Wednesday with seasonably cool lows down into the 30’s for most with more sunshine to start the day before clouds increase.  There will be a sizeable temperature gradient across the state with highs only in the low 40’s on the Erie Lake Shore, however, most will enjoy 60’s. Winds will be on the order of 5 to 10 mph out of the east and northeast.Meanwhile a strong late season storm system looks to develop across the Plains by late Wednesday and Wednesday night.  Ahead of this system, warming winds will arrive across the Buckeye State on Thursday with high temps warming through the 70’s in most areas despite considerable cloud cover.  The exception will be far northern Ohio which will be stuck on the wrong side of a stationary front allowing for much cooler conditions for Toledo and norwest sections of the state.A large area of rain with embedded rumbles of thunder will approach the state from the west by Friday morning.  This activity will work it’s way across the state and generally weaken to showers as it progresses to the east.  Rainfall on the order of a quarter to half inch appear likely at this time.  Expect seasonable highs in the 60’s for most of the state.Temps will cool behind a cold front as we slide into the weekend on a dry note.  High pressure looks to bring some quiet conditions Saturday.  Data suggest another low will form across the Lower Mississippi River Valley by late Saturday driving the potential for some heavier rainfall late Saturday night and into Sunday especially for southern parts of the state.Looking further out unsettled and chilly conditions appear likely early next week giving way to a drier stretch by midweek with gradually improving temperatures.  We’ll see another shot at some showers by late Wednesday/Thursday of next week.last_img read more

Dutch part-timers aim to shock at World Cup

first_imgAs most of the Dutch team was packing its orange bags in the country’s only indoor nets on a freezing night in late January, hard-hitting all-rounder Ryan Ten Doeschate was gearing up to play for Tasmania against New South Wales in the finals of Australia’s Twenty20 competition.Ryan Ten DoeschateSouth African-born Ten Doeschate and South Australia’s Tom Cooper are the higher-profile players in a Netherlands team of relative unknowns that is also made up of students, a tobacconist and a hamburger restaurant owner. Many of the players had to take time off work or study to travel to the World Cup.But the Dutch part-timers have proven in the past they are capable of pulling off a shock, beating hosts England by four wickets in the opening match of the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup.”The target for us is obviously to cause upsets, make an impression,” New Zealand-born captain Peter Borren said. “And to do that, we need to knock off one of the big boys.”Realistically, however, the Netherlands will be targeting their two last Group B matches, against Bangladesh and Ireland as games to win.Before those two matches, the Netherlands takes on England in its opener at Nagpur on Feb. 22, followed by West Indies, South Africa and India.Borren said subcontinent cricket is not new to the team as it embarks on its fourth World Cup campaign.”In the last four years we’ve probably been to India maybe five or six times so everyone’s had some experience there,” he said. “But obviously not all that much experience playing at that level in those conditions.”advertisementNetherlands made its World Cup debut in 1996 and appeared at the last two editions of cricket’s showcase tournament in 2003 and 2007. So far its only two World Cup wins have been over fellow minnows Namibia, in 2003, and Scotland in 2007.Selector and former captain Tim de Leede said the Netherlands has no genuinely fast pace bowler to spearhead its attack and will rely on steady medium pacers and a pair of economical slow bowlers – off spinner Adeel Raja and left arm orthodox Pieter Seelaar.”They have to bowl line and length and hopefully the fielders will do as well as they possibly can to support them,” De Leede said.In its race to catch up with the rest of the cricketing world, the Netherlands has been using specialist fielding, batting, bowling and wicketkeeping coaches and has a full-time coach, Australian Peter Drinnen.”They have more professionals than ever. They have a full-time coach, they have specialists coming in … so there are really no excuses any more,” De Leede said.Batting is the Netherlands’ strongest suit, with Eric Szwarczynski, a fluid strokemaker who has a knack for finding gaps in the field and Worcester’s Alexei Kervezee likely to open. Pakistan-born bowler Mudassar Bukhari – usually a lower order hitter – also can open in limited-overs matches.The middle order will feature professionals Ten Doeschate, Borren and Cooper, who has a one-day average of 65.44 in his 10 matches for the Netherlands – most of them against second-tier associate opposition, including 80 not out on debut against Scotland.Seelaar says the likes of Borren and Ten Doeschate have changed the way many homegrown players approach the game and he hopes the new mind set will pay dividends at the World Cup.”I think we now are getting close to a professional setup now,” he said. “The pros teach us how to be pros.”last_img read more