UKZN ACCOUNTING STUDENTS EXCEL IN SAICA EXAM

UKZN ACCOUNTING STUDENTS EXCEL IN SAICA EXAM

The School of Accounting, Economics and Finance at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), which is accredited by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), is proud to announce that its class of 2012 Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting Honours and Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting students, scored a 93 percent pass rate in the Initial Test of Competence (ITC) examination set by SAICA.  This exam was written in January 2013, three months after completing their studies at UKZN.

SAICA, the Education and Training quality assurance body that evaluates the accounting academic programmes offered by Higher Education Institutions released the ITC examination results on Wednesday 27 March.

UKZN’s 2013 results, which are well above the national average pass rate of 86 percent, show a marked improvement from last year’s 74 percent pass rate and 2011’s 69 percent. The ITC, previously named the Part 1 Board Exam, is one of two rigorous external examinations that accounting graduates have to pass in order to qualify as chartered accountants.

The second  examination, which graduates write in November each year,  is the Public Practice Examination (PPE) formerly known as Board 2 and is administered by the Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors.  In last year’s PPE, UKZN’s graduates achieved a 93% pass rate whereas the national average pass rate was 76 percent.

For the first time a revised ITC examination was offered to graduates in line with the Competency Framework for Chartered Accountants, introduced to universities in 2009.

Professor Philip Stegen, the Co-ordinator of the Accounting Programmes at UKZN said the Discipline was very proud of its past students outstanding achievement.

‘Some years ago the accounting academics realised that to improve the UKZN throughput and ultimately the SAICA Board Exam results would require a concerted effort from all staff from first to fourth year. In the last few years there have been numerous improvements made in a number of areas and a real commitment by academic staff to make a difference,’ said Stegen.

Stegen said management’s support and positive changes to the accounting tutorial system that engaged more with students to develop various skills, proved beneficial. He added that changes to the assessment methods contributed significantly to the improved results.

In a press release by SAICA, Ms Mandi Olivier, the Senior Executive: Professional Development for SAICA said: ‘One of the major factors contributing towards the improved results is the increased emphasis   South African accredited programmes are placing on the development of both technical and professional skills, stemming from changes introduced to the competency framework in 2009.’

Olivier said universities have stepped up their game in improving the quality of academic programmes by implementing the competency framework with emphasis on professional skills such as analytical skills, integration, and communication.


author email : maharajn20@ukzn.ac.za

SA NATIONAL SPACE AGENCY SEEKS PARTNERSHIPS WITH UKZN

SA NATIONAL SPACE AGENCY SEEKS PARTNERSHIPS WITH UKZN

The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) visited UKZN recently to share information about the services the agency has to offer and to explore possibilities for collaboration with the University.

The delegation was led by SANSA CEO, Dr Sandile Malinga, previously a Lecturer and Dean’s Assistant at UKZN.

SANSA was created in 2010 to deliver space-related services and products to South Africa and the region; to support, guide and conduct research and development in space science and engineering and the practical application of the innovations they generate; to stimulate interest in science and develop human capacity in space science and technologies in South Africa; to create an environment that promotes industrial development, and to nurture space-related partnerships to enhance South Africa’s standing internationally.

SANSA has four main programmes: earth observation, space operations, space science and space engineering. 

Malinga said that as SANSA was not a degree-granting institution, partnerships with universities were crucial.  Presently based in Pretoria and Hermanus, SANSA was particularly keen to strengthen its presence in the KwaZulu-Natal region and saw UKZN as a key partner in this process.

UKZN and SANSA recently signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) relating to joint staff appointments and collaboration in the Antarctica based SuperDARN radar project. 

Dean and Head of UKZN’s School of Chemistry and Physics, Professor Andy Kindness, confirmed there were many opportunities for collaboration with SANSA across the Schools situated within UKZN’s College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, including the disciplines of mathematics, physics, statistics, engineering, remote sensing and land use.

Dr Lee-Anne McKinnell, Managing Director of SANSA Space Science, said SANSA was interested in creating a footprint at UKZN.   She outlined various areas of collaboration and confirmed the availability of SANSA research projects in science and engineering; the availability of bursaries for students; opportunities to host equipment for space science research; the availability of data for student practicals; opportunities to receive assistance in designing space related courses and also presenting space science courses; and opportunities for students to attend winter and summer schools in Space Science.

SANSA was also interested in employing graduates in physics, engineering, mathematics, computer science, IT and software development, remote sensing, and statistics.  About half of SANSA bursaries for 2013 were awarded to students registered at UKZN, which was the largest allocation to any South African university. 

Acting DVC and Head of College, Professor Deo Jaganyi, supported the establishment of College-wide MOUs between SANSA and UKZN to encourage partnerships and joint appointments across all the scientific and engineering disciplines.  He thanked SANSA for including UKZN in its plans and strategic thinking.


author email : frosts@ukzn.ac.za

A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE FOR THE MEDICAL CLASS OF ’83

A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE FOR THE MEDICAL CLASS OF ’83

UKZN’s Medical Class of ’83 - including South Africa’s current National Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi - took a walk down memory lane recently when they celebrated a 30-year reunion.

The reunion brought together classmates who enjoyed a number of activities, one of which was a tour of the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine campus.  Participants were excited by the many changes to the campus including the new face of the main building, the construction of the new lecture theatre as well as the state-of-the-art KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for TB and HIV (K-RITH).

A tour and quick lesson in the Dissection Hall, led by Dr Onyemaechi Azu and Mr Salem Kharwa, reminded the class of their own days in the hall.  Many reminisced about the exact tables they were allocated and the many hours spent learning about the human body.

Colleagues were amazed that not much had changed in the hall 30 years down the line.  Azu and Kharwa proudly demonstrated how the new technology illustrates 3D dissections on plasma screen TVs.

‘Quite some time was spent in the students’ cafeteria in our student days,’ recalled Dr Ashwin Hurribunce, a former Major-General in the SA Defence Force, and Head of Security and Health for President Mandela’s inauguration in May 1994, serving also as his envoy and aide de camp.

‘I recall that many of us were expert thunee players after we graduated.’ (Thunee is a popular card game invented by the Indian indentured labourers in Durban).

The reunion culminated in a gala dinner attended by about 100 of the original class of 117 graduates who now live in South Africa, the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.


author email : francism@ukzn.ac.za

FUNDING RECEIVED FOR FIVE ACADEMICS TO PURSUE PHDS

FUNDING RECEIVED FOR FIVE ACADEMICS TO PURSUE PHDS

Five academics will pursue PhDs in their respective disciplines within the School of Health Sciences after receiving full funding from the new National Health Scholars Programme being offered by the Medical Research Council of South Africa (MRC).

The programme was recently launched in Cape Town by the National Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, who said a decline in the number of medical researchers was impacting on the production of healthcare professionals in the country.

The MRC’s National Health Research Committee plans to fund the education and training of 1 000 PhDs in health sciences over 10 years following key recommendations in the 2011 National Health Research Summit Report.  The aim is to build human resources for health research through a large-scale PhD programme for all health professional categories with degree-based qualifications.

Selected purely on merit, 13 PhD scholarships were awarded to academics from various South African universities, with the majority being at UKZN.

Professor Sabiha Essack, Dean and Head of the School of Health Sciences, said: ‘The School is very proud of the large number of successful applications by its academics.  All the recipients are extremely worthy candidates who will no doubt do the University proud.’

The scholarship came as a blessing for Mrs Verusia Chetty, a Lecturer in the Discipline of Physiotherapy. ‘Maintaining equilibrium with the contemporary pressures facing a working mother in academia is a daunting task. The National Health Scholarship will give me the freedom and support to successfully manage and fulfil all my work, research and personal life commitments,’ said Chetty.

Her study will be conducted at a semi-rural mission hospital complex in the Mariannhill area of KwaZulu-Natal and focus on the development of a model of care for rehabilitation of people living with HIV.

In his study, Mr Khathutshelo Percy Mashige, Head of UKZN’s Optometry Discipline, will compare and establish relationships between corneal parameters and retinal thickness values in relation to age and gender among Black South Africans aged between 10 and 50.  He said the values of corneal parameters and retinal thickness measurements were important for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes in eye care and no studies investigating this had been conducted among black South Africans. Results from the study may also be useful to eye care practitioners as reference information as well as providing a foundation for further research on this topic.

Meanwhile, an interesting study looking at developing a tool for paediatricians, occupational therapists and physicians in the assessment of muscle tone in children is being conducted by Ms Pragashnie Naidoo, Senior Tutor in the Discipline of Occupational Therapy.

Naidoo said the assessment of muscle tone was an essential constituent of the neurological examination of infants and children and was often central to the establishment of an accurate diagnosis and the appropriate management of a child. ‘A challenge for clinicians, however, remains in the accurate identification and quantification of muscle tone due to the subjective nature of the clinical evaluation process, and thus creates a dilemma for clinicians.’

This study will draw on the previous work done by the researcher and should speak to the need for more evidenced-based assessment and interventions, also focusing on the health needs of the country and world at large with respect to early detection and intervention.

Ms Jessica Paken, Acting Academic Leader and Lecturer in the Discipline of Audiology, will conduct a study titled: “Cisplatin associated ototoxicity among patients with ovarian cancer and the feasibility of an audiological monitoring program at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital”.

Paken said there were currently no guidelines in South Africa for audiological management of ototoxicity – damage to the hearing or balance functions of the ear by drugs or chemicals – even though it posed a major problem to the cancer patient as the quality of life after receiving chemotherapy could be negatively affected due to hearing loss, resulting in social, emotional and vocational difficulties. She said the nature of ototoxicity was such that it went undetected until speech intelligibility was affected, ‘nevertheless, its incapacitating effects can be minimised if the hearing loss is detected early and appropriate intervention is timeously provided… even though the identification of individuals at risk for hearing loss may not always be possible before commencement of treatment.’

Paken’s study is the first of its kind in South Africa, and is likely to unearth novel information using an evidence-based approach that will influence policy and clinical practice. It also has the potential to vastly improve the quality of life for patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

Ms Velisha Perumal, lecturer of Pharmacy Practice in the discipline of Pharmaceutical Sciences, said her research aims to provide critical information for the improvement of health care by improved access to essential medicines, especially for mothers and children in South Africa and developing countries as a whole, ‘as pricing policies have a direct impact on the level of health care a country can provide.’

Perumal said that since its implementation in South Africa in 2005, the impact of pricing policies on the availability of essential medicines has not been assessed. ‘Thus, this research delves into new arenas and requires numerous hours of dedication to policy evaluation, fostering good relationships with the country’s medical aid schemes to partner in this research by providing valuable information from their databases, as well as to gain perceptions from the public who are directly affected by pricing of medicines.’


author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

UKUBHUNGWA KWE-CHARTER YEZOLUNTU KANYE NESAYENSI YEZENHLALO

UKUBHUNGWA KWE-CHARTER  YEZOLUNTU KANYE NESAYENSI YEZENHLALOISemina yokuqala yocwaningo yokwenza lokhu okunqunyiwe kwabekwa iCharter yezoLuntu kanye nesayensi yezenhlalo yethulwe kamuva nje, e-UKZN ophikweni lase Howard College Theatre nguSolwazi wase Nyuvesi yase Rhodes uRussel Kaschula.

Lokhu kulandela ekutheni uNgqongqoshe weZemfundo emazingeni aPhakeme, uDkt Blade Nzimande ehlab’ikhwelo ngayo iCharter yezoLuntu kanye nesayensi yezenhlalo njengengxenye yokuqaqulula indlela yezeMfund’ephakeme yobandlululo lwakudala, nakholwa ukuthi ezoLuntu kanye nesayensi yezenhlalo kubamb’iqhaza elikhulu ekucaciseni inkambo, izinga eliseqophelweni eliphezu kanye nobugugu bethu.

Ingxoxo kaKaschula ibihamba phezu kommongo wokufundisa ngobuliminingi kanye nokufunda izifundo emaNyuvesi aseNingizimu Afrika, ngaleso sikhathi ubechaza ebalula umlando wokufundisa ngezilimi zeSintu noma zoMdabu emeNyuvesi aseNingizimu Afrika ukuqhathanisa nohlaka loliminingi, uguquko kanye nokuhlelwa kolimi ezweni.

Ubumbano lwenhlalonhle yabantu kuye kwamataniswe nokusetshenziswa kwezilimi zomdabu emaNyuvesi aseNingizimu Afrika kube ilowo mqondo oqaqululwayo “wobuthakathaka bokuzazi wena”, lokhu kwenza abanye abafundi bakwazi okumayelana nokusetshenziswa kolimi kanye nobumbano lwenhlalonhle yabantu.

‘Iminxa engakhuthaza ukuqiniswa kwezilimi zabomdabu eNingizimu Afrika kwiMfund’ePhakeme okungenzeka kuhlanganise phakathi izinhlelo zemfundo kulabo abangenaziqu kanye nalabo asebeneziqu, ukubasekela ngezinziza zokufundisa ngezilimi zabomdabu kuphinde futhi izilimi zabomdabu zikhomb’indlela njengezilimi zokufunda kanye nokufundisa’, kubeka oka-Kaschula. Ngokuka Solwazi Nobuhle Hlongwa, oyiDini kwezokuFunda kanye nokuFundisa ngaphakathi kwalo iKolishi, ubeke wathi, ezinye zezincomo zombiko we-Charter ileso sesithupha phecelezi se- Catalytic Projects. ‘Kunomsebenzi wemikhakha ehlukahlukene kazwelonke ukuthi izilimi zomdabu eNingizimu Afrika zingenza njani ukweseka indlela yokusungula umqondo kwezoLuntu kanye neSayensi yezeNhlalo futhi zingxilise umqondo ojulile obanzi wenhlalonhle noma ukufundisa.

‘Lokhu okokuqala-ngqa kokuningi okuzolandela ezingxoxweni ezizosingathwa ukuze zinike umdlandla kwi-Charter yezoLuntu’. iPhini likaSekela Shansela kanye neNhloko yeKolishi yezoLuntu, uSolwazi Cheryl Potgieter, umemezele ngokusemthethweni uSihlalo woCwaningo esithi phecelezi Research Chair wezilimi zabomdabu uzoxhaswa iHhovisi lezoCwaningo eNyuvesi emva kokuthi enconywe waphakanyiswa kakhulu iNational Research Foundation. Usihlalo uzoba namandla ukuqhubekisela phambili imiklomelo yokusiza ukufunda izilimi zaboMdabu.

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author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

FORMER UKZN STUDENTS NOW TOP FLIGHT RUGBY REFS

FORMER UKZN STUDENTS NOW TOP FLIGHT RUGBY REFS

Two UKZN alumni and rugby referees, Craig Joubert and Stuart Berry, have been appointed by the International Rugby Board’s Match Official Selection Committee to handle upcoming high profile international games.

Joubert has been appointed as a referee for the test series between Australia and the British and Irish Lions while Berry has been named as an official at the IRB U20 World Championships.

Selection Committee Chairman and IRB council member, Jon Jeffery, said: ‘The British and Irish Lions tour will be the highlight of 2013 as far as international rugby is concerned and looks set to be another hard-fought and compelling series.  The IRB is committed to promoting the very best refereeing standards at the elite level of the game. The continued priority is the promotion of consistency and performance and following a comprehensive selection process, the committee has appointed highly experienced match referees for the Test series.’

Joubert started refereeing while studying on the Pietermaritzburg campus where he completed his business finance studies before becoming a professional referee.  He took charge of the 2010 Super Rugby final and a year later was selected to officiate at the World Cup in New Zealand and following some strong performances was chosen to referee the final!

Meanwhile, Berry is the only South African among nine referees appointed for the IRB U20 World Championships in France in June.

Berry accumulated three degrees on the Pietermaritzburg campus, including a BSc Honours in Conservation Studies and more recently an MSc in Hydrology.  He started refereeing Varsity third team matches and graduated through the ranks to significant Varsity Cup and Super Rugby assignments.

He remains active in UKZN alumni affairs, having served on the UKZN Rugby’s Centenary Committee, and is well known as a compere at Varsity Shield matches at his alma mater.


author email : schulze_mark@hotmail.com

PROTECTING AFRICAN INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE SYSTEMS

PROTECTING AFRICAN INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE SYSTEMS

Indigenous healers and representatives of the Department of Science and Technology and universities throughout South Africa were at UKZN recently for a discussion on the significance of the documentation, use and protection of African Indigenous Knowledge Systems (AIKS) for sustainable livelihood.

UKZN’s AIKS Research Leader, Professor Hassan Kaya, reflected on the importance of documenting, preserving and protecting AIKS. ‘African Indigenous Knowledge Systems are an integral part of our culture as a people.

‘The Systems need to be documented, preserved, promoted and protected because they are community-based and hence a sustainable resource in  mitigating against the developmental challenges facing our African local communities,’ said Kaya.

‘IK holders are mostly elderly people so their knowledge needs to be shared with younger generations for sustainability.’

UKZN co-ordinates the Department of Science and Technology’s DST/IKS Documentation Centre and therefore has the responsibility of facilitating this process in co-operation with local communities and other stakeholders.

Professor Yonah Seleti, the Chief Director of the National IKS Office in the Department of Science and Technology, said the government was developing various legal instruments to protect IKS and indigenous resources to ensure IK holders benefitted.

The protection of African indigenous knowledge will safeguard medicinal remedies derived from indigenous resources including plants.

Citing the case of Hoodia, an appetite suppressant traditionally used by the Khoisan, Seleti explained that the benefit-sharing agreement brokered by the DST had seen three payments made to the Khoisan community. This empowered the community as they benefited from their indigenous knowledge, and were able to decide how to use the benefits.

The benefits to the communities  include royalties, agribusinesses and shares in companies that use their knowledge and indigenous resources such as the medicinal plants.

Seleti said South Africa currently had inadequate laws protecting indigenous knowledge and resources, but this would soon change.

‘We are going to pass a law that recognises knowledge holders as custodians of their knowledge.’

‘We have groups of scientists who are working with the Department of Science and Technology who can validate and affirm the effectiveness of traditional medicines. Prior consent would need to be given by the knowledge holders – they would then share the benefits,’ said Seleti.


author email : captainr@ukzn.ac.za

RESEARCH ON TRANSFORMATION CHARTER PRESENTED AT SEMINAR

RESEARCH ON TRANSFORMATION CHARTER PRESENTED AT SEMINAR

Five Gender Studies postgraduate students in the School of Social Sciences recently presented their research on the Transformation Charter during a satellite meeting between UKZN and Stellenbosch University.

The main event took place on Durban’s Howard College campus with Pietermaritzburg campus students and staff participating via a satellite hook-up in the three-way discussion.

PhD student Mr Themba Shibase’s presentation focused on: “Black Masculinity in South Africa and its Relationship with the Transformation Charter”.  ‘My main focus was on the question of politicising space - the space of black masculinity at UKZN - and its implications for the Transformation Charter.

Another student, Mr Emmanuel Sairose, looked at: Transforming the Transformation Charter, with her presentation taking as its point of departure a method of research, such as ethnography, to grapple with questions including internalised racism, whiteness in its past and present expression/s, the history of colonisation in South Africa and its impact on students and the faculty at UKZN (for the purpose of the discussion), and how these interrelationships were engaged with through the UKZN Transformation Charter.

An interesting topic presented by Ms Zaria Govender explored the development of the UKZN Facebook page as a tool to fulfil the aspirations and objectives of the Transformation Charter, ‘I critically reflected on the efficiency and appropriateness of social networking as a platform for improving the quality of human relationships as outlined in the vision of the UKZN Transformation Charter,’ said Govender.

Ms Vuyi Kona’s presentation: UKZN Transformation Charter - Filing in the Blanks, examined the use of love medicines as a means of addressing the extent to which people will go to handle matters of sexuality.  ‘Whilst gender is addressed within the Transformation Charter, very little is said about sexuality, and sexual practice, and clearly we need to inject the Transformation Charter with the lived reality of how sexuality is experienced on a day-to-day basis.’

Ms Elizabeth Hatlehol spoke on: “Becoming White at UKZN - Whiteness and the UKZN Transformation Charter”, which looked at the materiality of race.  ‘This presentation examines the ways in which I became White at UKZN by locating some of these processes - attending a symposium on Whiteness and colonial amnesia in Gender Studies and being challenged on my White identity when I joined Gender Studies.  This was all new to me as a Norwegian overseas student,’ said Hatlehol.

The meeting was facilitated by Gender Studies and Acting Director for the Centre for Critical Research on Race and Identity, Professor Riozena Maart, and attended by the College Dean of Research, Professor Sarojini Nadar, and the acting Chair of the University’s Institutional Forum on the Transformation Charter, Dr Saras Reddy, among others.

Stellensbosch students, under the guidance and supervision of Professor Rob Pattman, participated and offered their comments on UKZN’s student presentations.  Maart and Pattman have been working with students on the Transformation Charter of their respective universities for more than a year now and a collection is set for publication later this year.


author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

THE LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AWARD GOES TO …

THE LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AWARD GOES TO …

Commitment to the development of small, medium and micro enterprises in Pietermaritzburg has resulted in Miss Diane Gaskin, the General Manager of the Business Support Centre, winning a Local Economic Development (LED) Champion Award initiated by UKZN’s Graduate School of Business and Leadership.

Gaskin, who dedicated almost 10 years of her career towards entrepreneurship support and skilling of SMMEs in communities within Pietermaritzburg, was nominated for the LED award by an official in the Msunduzi Municipality.

For the past six years, Gaskin, under the auspices of the Business Support Centre, has focused on enterprise development by creating opportunities for micro businesses in corporate supply chain.

The LED Champs Project, a partnership between the GSB&L and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDT), awards 10 individuals within the province who have driven empowerment initiatives in entrepreneurship, micro and small business and community development.

‘This is an exciting opportunity. I think if this programme follows through, and I know it will, it will make an impact on local economic development in the rest of the province, more so because it’s working with people on the ground,’ said Gaskin.

According to Gaskin, a challenge facing local economic development in the province is the lack of an effective support mechanism to help in the growth and sustainability of SMMEs. ‘We ignore the growth potential of SMMEs already in business and focus on start-ups. Government agencies help by providing business plans for start-ups, but they don’t really assist with implementation.’

Gaskin believes agencies or initiatives focusing on the growth potential of SMMEs already in business would overcome this challenge.

She said many sectors focused on their own projects and did not explore collaborative ventures that could assist in local economic development.

She said initiatives targeting SMME development should not be mass events comprising hundreds of businesses, but rather smaller gatherings that make a better impact.

Gaskin found the recent workshop LED Champs attended, enlightening as recipients got a better understanding of each other’s projects and shared ideas on empowerment.

She looked forward to engaging with UKZN researchers who had expressed an interest in linkages with her organisation. 


author email : maharajn20@ukzn.ac.za

'HAMBA KAHLE' CHINUA ACHEBE

'HAMBA KAHLE' CHINUA ACHEBE

The Centre for African Literary Studies (CALS) was deeply saddened to learn of the death of one of Africa’s greatest novelists, Chinua Achebe.

The CALS collection contains a considerable number of Achebe’s works which are well used by researchers.

Professor Emeritus of English and African literature at the University of Texas in Austin, Bernth Lindfors, whose remarkable collection of African literary material forms the core of the CALS library, says Achebe's books are read throughout the English-speaking world and have been translated into more than 50 languages.

‘Achebe’s novels are studied widely as are his short stories, essays and poetry.  More books, articles, study guides, doctoral dissertations and masters’ theses have been produced on his writings than on those of any other African novelist,’ said Lindfors. ‘Reading his carefully composed works one is immediately struck by the dignity and grace of his art - moreover, there is a profundity and high moral seriousness in his fiction that can only be found in writing of the very highest quality.’

In a recent e-mail letter to CALS’ Librarian, Fiona Polak, Lindfors wrote: ‘I was attending a conference of the African Literature Association (ALA) in Charleston, South Carolina, in the United States when the news of Achebe’s death became known.  A memorial service was quickly organised.

‘Achebe had attended the inaugural meetings of the ALA in Austin in 1975 and had participated in a number of the association’s conferences in the years that followed.  Everyone in the association knew him or certainly knew of him and had taught his works in African literature courses.  He was much loved and admired not only for his writing but also for his integrity, personal warmth and friendliness.  He was a wise man who lived a good life.’

Achebe will be best remembered for his first and most famous work: Things Fall Apart, which was first published in 1958.  The poem, the Generation Gap, captured in Achebe’s handwriting is lodged at CALS - and is especially evocative at this time.


author email : Stilwell@ukzn.ac.za

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT NEEDS DISCUSSED AT BUSINESS SCHOOL

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT NEEDS DISCUSSED AT BUSINESS SCHOOL

Training and development needs in the Pietermaritzburg area were discussed at a breakfast for local business leaders hosted recently by the Graduate School of Business and Leadership (GSB&L).

The Dean and Head of the GSB&L, Professor Stephen Migiro, and other academics engaged with directors, human resource managers and representatives from the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business to establish the training and development needs of the business sector in Pietermaritzburg.

The breakfast provided an ideal opportunity for both business and academia to forge mutually beneficial partnerships.

Addressing guests, Migiro said:  ‘We at the GSB&L are in the business of training managers and leaders and therefore it’s imperative to create a symbiotic partnership with the business sector. Partnering with the business sector is advantageous for the School whose training needs will be supplemented by tapping into the practical skills business offers,’ said Migiro.

Business representatives pointed out where the GSB&L could assist in the training needs of their companies.

Representatives of technically orientated businesses said supervisory training was needed for personnel who had moved up the ranks and were now in managerial positions.

Technical businesses present also identified the need for the GSB&L to develop short courses for support staff who lacked technical knowledge relevant to the industries in which they worked.

Representatives said there was also a need for trade union members to be put through courses on management practice to enable them to better understand issues from a managerial perspective.

Improvements in workforce planning was another training area business identified.

Guests suggested that business should revisit its approach to identifying talented young people at schools and invest in developing learners with the potential to succeed in a career in business at an earlier age.  Funding a matriculant’s tertiary education by offering a bursary was insufficient.


author email : maharajn20@ukzn.ac.za

ADVANCING GLENWOOD HIGH’S ACADEMIC ACADEMY

ADVANCING GLENWOOD HIGH’S ACADEMIC ACADEMY

Pupils at Glenwood High School’s Academic Academy recently visited UKZN’s Howard College campus for a workshop on presentation skills.

The workshop was held at the UNITE/School of Engineering building with Mr Noel Powell, Head of the UNITE programme, sharing his passion for effective and entertaining presentations with the visitors.

Powell was impressed with the level of interaction and feedback from the youngsters who managed to demonstrate the effectiveness of Powerpoint presentations by the end of the workshop.

The Academic Academy is geared towards providing high achieving pupils with the opportunity to further their academics at an accelerated level thus enabling them to pursue future careers at a much earlier period.

Mr Wesley Augustus, an educator at Glenwood High tasked with the management of the Academy, was pleased the boys had experienced university life through the guest lecture. Augustus said he hoped the relationship between UKZN and the Academy would grow to a level where learners were provided with an opportunity to gain insight into the various disciplines at the University.

The pupils were given a lecture on presentation skills after which they had an opportunity to use the LAN to prepare their own presentations on a given topic.

Grade 11 student Gabriel Davies said he enjoyed the workshop and had acquired new skills. In particular, he had enjoyed working with Powerpoint to create his presentation.

Powell was full of praise for the students who managed to apply some of what they had learned in impressive presentations conducted at the end of the day. 


author email : nathooa@ukzn.ac.za