LEARNERS ENCOURAGED TO STUDY MATHS AND SCIENCE

LEARNERS ENCOURAGED TO STUDY MATHS AND SCIENCE

‘The HIV and AIDS pandemic in our country has challenged our scientists to find solutions that will prevent, control and ultimately eradicate the virus. Ground breaking work in preventing infection has been done here at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and has been recognised internationally.

These were the words of Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Naledi Pandor when she addressed primary and high school learners at the launch of National Science Week (NSW) on the Westville campus. National Science Week ran from August 1-6.

The aim of National Science Week is to inspire learners to study mathematics and science at school. The theme this year was “science for economic development”.

Sometimes we need to be reminded that economic development and science are very closely aligned.

‘South Africa has lagged behind many countries in science achievements and innovation. Our country needs to at least quadruple the number of senior researchers, invest millions in science performing institutions and support schools to produce excellent students in Mathematics and Science subjects,’ said Pandor.

More than 70 schools around KwaZulu-Natal attended the launch and more learners visited different departments throughout the week. A series of public lectures by leading UKZN lecturers were held.

‘The University of KwaZulu-Natal is a strong hub of scientific research in South Africa, and I am grateful to UKZN for hosting the launch of the National Science Week 2011,’ said Pandor.

UKZN Vice-Chancellor, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba told the learners that this is an opportunity for young South Africans to excel. ‘You have no excuse not to succeed.’

‘The Centre for Science Access and the UNITE Programme at the University are two of the country’s leading access programmes which provide educational opportunities to undergraduate students from disadvantaged backgrounds,’ Makgoba said.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Dr Zweli Mkhize said that it is important for learners to be encouraged to study further and do higher degrees. He told the learners that it is possible for young people who come from poor backgrounds to progress.

The students had the opportunity to view different exhibits by UKZN, other higher education ins
author email : shabangus@ukzn.ac.za

ARCHITECTURAL STUDENTS BUILD AN IGLOO

ARCHITECTURAL STUDENTS BUILD AN IGLOO

When I was a third year architectural student (when Pa fell of the bus) we started the second semester with a trip to the beach to build sand castles. This was more team building than any serious architecture, but a great outing never the less. So when the cold front timed its snow drop to perfectly coincide with my first technology lecture and tutorial of the semester, it was an opportunity not to be missed!

Confirming the presence of snow with locals, I sent out an urgent sms to the class telling them to arrive with warm clothes and gloves, and get themselves into lift clubs with willing drivers. When I arrived at campus I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of the class had showed up – seems like playing in the snow had more appeal than my lecture…

We pressed on up the N3 in convoy, with disturbing news that the road was closed at Howick. Another phone call to the locals, and we discovered the way to get through was to announce we were going to the nearby town of Tweedy (wherever that is?!). The ruse worked and the convoy passed the police road-block and headed up the old winding road past Michaelhouse and Rawdens, with snow capped hills drawing ever nearer. When we got to Nottingham Road we were met by a winter wonderland. We stopped at The Junction where toilets and a cosy restaurant were at hand.

After some vicious snowball fights I quickly got the students to focus their energy on something creative. We got a three-sided flying buttress structure, a large Empire State Building (or London Gurkin?), and then, quite unexpectedly, an igloo started taking shape. It took some serious work by a dedicated team to finally complete… but how many of us can say we have built an igloo in our lives?! After all was done we retired to the restaurant for hot chocolate and pizzas. (Mr Bill Williams - part-time lecturer in Architecture)


author email : frosts@ukzn.ac.za

HEAD OF GSB RECEIVES INTERNATIONAL HONOUR

HEAD OF GSB RECEIVES INTERNATIONAL HONOUR

Head of UKZN’s Graduate School of Business, Professor Anesh Maniraj Singh, received the “Best Professor in Information Technology” Award at the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Asia-Business School’s Awards Ceremony held in Singapore.  According to Singh, ‘I was surprised at the title of the award, but heaved a sigh of relief when there were others in the same category honoured with the same title.’

The CMO Council is dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide range of global industries. 

The CMO awards honour professors who have shown leadership in their respective fields combined with consistent innovation in education.  According to Dr R L Bhatia, CMO Project Co-ordinator:  ‘When we decided about the Asia Best Business-School Awards with CMO Asia & CMO Council - USA we had just one vision and that vision was to make a difference to the education fraternity.

‘Our endeavor was to pay tribute to temples of learning and the gurus who shape the destinies of future job and wealth creators. We assign the task of choosing award winners to a global research cell. This cell constitutes of professionals from different parts of the world who are then asked to submit their recommendations to the Jury. The Jury meets and deliberates on the final award winners.’

According to Singh: ‘Receiving this award was special, but I only appreciated the value of the award when I found other recipients were from INSEAD, London Business School and the Indian Institute of Management.’  He added: ‘I did nothing extraordinary to be considered for this award; I just do my job as my service to the University and the wider community. The fact that I was recognised by my peers was a blessing from the Almighty.’


author email : pillaykri@ukzn.ac.za

RIGHT 2 RESPECT CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED

RIGHT 2 RESPECT CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED

UKZN’s Reproductive Health Education and Advocacy Programme (RHEAP) launched the Right 2 Respect (R2R) campaign on the Howard College campus on July 29. The campaign aims to create greater awareness of sexual rights and focuses on the theme of “Consent and Respect”. Targeting tertiary students, it will run over two weeks on the Howard College and Pietermaritzburg campuses.

RHEAP Co-ordinator, Ms Lindiwe  Mbhele is proud to introduce this campaign to UKZN as she feels that students don’t want to talk about HIV, but are willing to talk about relationship dynamics: ‘They are usually not responsive to HIV/AIDS campaigns, but if we target their sexuality and relationships, we can understand their needs more. Research [in tertiary institutions] has found that most students don’t have correct or adequate information about consent and their sexual rights, and will often find themselves in tough situations that were preventable,’ Mbhele said.

‘There are many cases in residences where over-night visits end in sex because females don’t know how to speak up and boldly say that they don’t want to have sex to their boyfriends or friends. We are trying to end the “Actions speak louder than words” notion when it comes to sex and emphasise the importance of spoken consent and dialogue in relationships in all areas,’ explained Mbhele.

Right 2 Respect has been launched in tertiary institutions in Mozambique and will be extended to Zimbabwe in August. Nineteen UKZN Student Ambassadors have been trained. They will travel between the two campuses to introduce the “Consent is Sexy” notion to students and hand out information brochures.

Deputy Dean of Students, Dr Bhekithemba Ngcobo, and Student Representative Council (SRC) member, Mr Thembani Khumalo, supported the launch, and Khumalo urged students to support the campaign. Other speakers included Ms Nompumelelo Legodi, Durban University of Technology’s Health Promoter and HIV/AIDS Activist, and Dr Hemma Tengler from the Catholic University of Mozambique (UCM), where the campaign was first launched.


author email : mavaneni@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN CAREER SERVICES RECEIVES TOP RATING

UKZN CAREER SERVICES RECEIVES TOP RATING

The South African Graduate Recruiters Association (SAGRA) Surveys 2011 were conducted by High Fliers Research from March to May. Eighty two graduate employers were surveyed.

The SAGRA Candidate (Graduate) Survey was created to gather honest and open feedback from graduates about their experiences during the recruitment process.  The Survey helps organisations understand the key motivators and drivers of their newly recruited graduates.

An on-line survey of graduates was completed by those who accepted a job offer from a company in the 2010 or 2011 intakes.  The highest numbers of candidates came from the Universities of Pretoria, Johannesburg, and Cape Town, UNISA and UKZN, while candidates in the survey studied at a wide array of institutions.  The seven universities with the highest attendance levels accounted for three-quarters of all participants.

Universities rated among the top seven included the University of the Witwatersrand, with 12.7 percent, the Universities of Pretoria (12.6 percent), Johannesburg (12.5 percent), and Cape Town (12.2 percent), UNISA (11.0 percent) and UKZN (9.3 percent).  UKZN was rated fifth among the 24 institutions.  Approximately 10 percent of new graduates hired in 2010 came from UKZN.  Six universities had at least four-fifths of the employers surveyed actively targeting them for graduate recruitment in 2011.  The University of Pretoria was rated number 1 with 94 percent activity on their campus, the University of Cape Town (93 percent), the University of Johannesburg (93 percent), the University of Stellenbosch (84 percent), the University of the Witwatersrand (81 percent) and UKZN (80 percent).

UKZN was voted among the top six universities by employers in terms of Career Services. UCT was voted number 1; the University of Pretoria 2; the University of North West 3; the University of Johannesburg 4; Stellenbosch University 5 and UKZN and Wits 6.  UKZN was also voted second in terms of the best Employer/Careers Exhibition.  UCT was voted number 1 for Career Fairs.

Director of Career Services at UKZN, Ms Sheri Seetal, attributes UKZN’s success to a hard working, dedicated team, which is efficient and makes the services relevant and accessible to students. According to the Programme Co-ordinator on the Westville campus, Ms Rosheena Jeawon, this success is due to establishing links with employers and sustaining a viable network that attracts more and new employers every year. She says that every effort is made to research employers and follow market trends.   It is also important to gather feedback from employers and students and to integrate this into the programmes.


author email : seetals@ukzn.ac.za

EXTREME BUSINESS SUCCESS AT UKZN’S CENTRE FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP

EXTREME BUSINESS SUCCESS AT UKZN’S CENTRE FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP

‘Are you a crafter or an entrepreneur? There are two journeys that business owners can partake in. One is to create a craft (small business) that is all about you, or to create an enterprise that is beyond you and will surpass you’ – Mr Carl Bates.

UKZN’s Centre for Entrepreneurship invited business guru, Mr Carl Bates, to hold a workshop for small business owners titled “The Extreme Laws of Business Success”, at the Graduate School of Business (GSB). Professor Shahida Cassim, Director of the Centre, was pleased to expose KwaZulu-Natal entrepreneurs to the Centre, and to a workshop that allowed new knowledge to be gained, and an opportunity to network.

Bates is the Managing Director of Sirdar Global Group, an international business support organisation offering small and medium businesses extensive governance and business growth support. He began his business management career as a teenager, and has extensive experience to support the theories and business laws he shared at the Workshop.

‘The same rules of business success apply in all industries, and if you don’t apply them because you think that your company is “different”, you are merely inserting harmful excuses,’ said Bates.

He added that the secret of expanding a small business lies with the owner’s perceptions of the company, and the way they run it. ‘”Small business owner” is a slang we use to keep ourselves in the small of business. You must have a winner’s mentality and use the language of enterprise, rather than small business,’ Bates said.

The most profitable businesses employ less than five people. With five or less team members, craftsmen can operate effectively and lead the team; as this number increases, their role is no longer about their craft, it is about the game of business.  The bottom line is that people need a bigger purpose to work towards. ‘In Sirdar we motivate our team by talking about our promise to empower communities through sustainable enterprise,’ said Bates. ‘Business owners who think they are in business to make money and are going to create wealth with that mentality are simply missing the point,’ he explained.

Laws covered in the Workshop were the laws of Ego, Shareholder Wealth Creation, Vision, Three Heads, Leadership, Continuous Learning, and Transactional Giving. These seven laws are amongst 12 in Bates newly released book, The Laws of Extreme Business Success.  


author email : mavaneni@ukzn.ac.za

CONTEXTUAL BIBLE STUDY IS KEY TO HIV PREVENTION

CONTEXTUAL BIBLE STUDY IS KEY TO HIV PREVENTION

African American communities have been disproportionately affected by HIV in the United States. They make up 12 percent of the population, yet account for 50 percent of America’s HIV infections. Although the church has taken very active steps to support those infected and affected by the virus, it has great difficulty in helping to prevent new infections.

Dr Cheryl Anderson is a Professor of the Old Testament at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, a United Methodist theological seminary based in Illinois, USA. She is affiliated with UKZN’s School of Religion and Theology and has been visiting the School for several years. ‘I teach and train pastors at a seminary in the United States, yet I have learned so much from the School of Religion and Theology at UKZN that I can use at home,’ Anderson says. She added that the School has the best programme in the world for teaching biblical studies and working with congregations in the context of HIV.

Anderson hosted a seminar titled, “Taking Contextual Bible Study from SA to the USA” on July 27 on the Pietermaritzburg campus. Contextual Bible Study is a process of reading the Bible that was developed in the School of Religion and Theology. It allows faith communities to take into account their own daily realities when they read the Bible. After describing how well Contextual Bible Study has been received in the United States, Anderson questioned why the African American congregations she worked with did not actively embrace such a process. She concluded that the problem is that African Americans, the poor, and women, among other groups, are not familiar with incorporating their own perspectives in reading the Bible.

She illustrated how some biblical laws in the Old Testament are problematic, but people are taught not to question them. An excerpt from the film, Rabbit Proof Fence (set in Australia) was used to show the traditional concept of what Christianity is.  The result is that Black people do not take their own realities into account as part of what it means to be a Christian, Anderson said.

During one of her visits to South Africa, Anderson encountered a study by UKZN Medical Anthropologist, Professor Suzanne Leclerc-Madlala. The study dealt with southern African values on gender and sexuality that are related to high HIV prevalence rates. She found that it described the cultural values of African Americans as well. With those cultural values, she explains, the Abstain, Be faithful and Condomise (ABC) prevention method cannot, and has not been effective in the African American context, where men are often expected to have access to multiple partners, and women are expected to excuse their behavior, among other dynamics. ‘How can ABC be effective in preventing new infections if marriage rates are low, and 72 percent of all black babies born in the US are born to unwed mothers?’ Anderson asked.

Anderson hopes that by using the information from the Leclerc-Madlala study and the Contextual Bible Study process from the School of Religion and Theology, she can help African American congregations take their own cultural realities into account as they engage the HIV pandemic. ‘Contextual Bible Study shows us that the Bible can be read differently,’ she says, ‘and that will help us become more effective in preventing HIV while remaining within our Christian tradition.’ 

‘The major challenge to Contextual Bible Study is that people find it difficult to break away from traditional readings that have excluded their perspectives. But we must do that in order to see God as a loving and concerned God, and to see the Bible as helpful to living a life of freedom and love, ’ Anderson concluded.


author email : mavaneni@ukzn.ac.za

TEACHING AND LEARNING OF ICT SCRUTINISED

TEACHING AND LEARNING OF ICT SCRUTINISED

The art of teaching and learning computer science and information systems was scrutinised at the 41st Conference of the Southern African Computer Lecturers' Association (SACLA) hosted by UKZN’s School of Information Systems & Technology (IS&T) under the theme: "Innovate - Educate".  The Conference was held at the picturesque Fairmont-Zimbali Hotel. 

 

Conference Chairperson, Professor Manoj Maharaj of UKZN said that the aim of the conference was to explore innovative ways of using technology in teaching and learning computer science and information systems. He acknowledged that students are always using new technology and that academics need to adapt to these changes so that they keep up with them.

 

A wide range of papers, discussing various aspects of computing education, were presented.  Overall, 56 abstracts were submitted, with 41 being accepted as full papers and these were reviewed by 32 reviewers. Twenty seven of the 29 papers presented underwent a double blind peer review. 

 

Eight academics from the School of IS&T contributed meaningfully towards the conference proceedings through the presentation of research papers and chairing of sessions.

 

“The impact of instant messaging tools on language development in KwaZulu-Natal,” was the title of a paper co-authored by Ms Zahra Bulbulia and Maharaj and an ex-honours student Mr Shanil Narayan.

 

Professor Brian McArthur from the Pietermaritzburg campus presented a paper titled: “Challenges of publishing an Honours Research paper: E-book usage by students at UKZN.” The paper was co-authored with his student Ms Amanda Ngidi.

 

“UKZN third year IS software development teams: Looking back in order to look forward,” was the title of a paper co-authored by Westville campus academics Ms Rosemary Quilling, Ms Sue Price and Mr Craig Blewett.

 

Mr Bret van Niekerk and Maharaj co-authored a paper titled: “Infrastructure vulnerability analysis from an information warfare perspective.”

 

A highlight of the Conference was a keynote address titled: “King 3 and IT Governance,” which was pr
author email : langah@ukzn.ac.za

UMDLALO WESHASHALAZI UVUSE INGXOXO ESEMQOKA

UMDLALO WESHASHALAZI UVUSE INGXOXO ESEMQOKA

Abafundi abaqhuba izifundo zeHonours kwiDrama and Performance Studies e-UKZN benze umdlalo weshashalazi ovutha ubhedu mayelena nokuhlukumezana kwabafundi ezikoleni. Lomdlalo oqanjwe ngokuthi yiSplinters udlale kusukela kumhlaka 27 kuya ku-30 enyangeni kaNtulikazi ezikhungweni iHoward College kanye naseMgungundlovu kanti usuphuma nakwiNational Arts Festival yamnyakayonke eGrahamstown.

Abasunguli beSplinters uNksz Donna Steel kanye noNksz Amy Wilson bajulile ngokulwa nokuhlukumezana kwabafundi ezikoleni zamabanga aphansi. Kulingise abafundi abayisikhombisa kwiSplinters kanti bonke bangabafundi base-UKZN.

ISplinters ikhuluma ngendaba kaJade, odlalwa nguNksz Phumelele Majola, ongomunye wabafundi abahlukunyezwa ngabanye abafundi esikoleni sakhe. Ukuhlukumezana kwabafundi kusikhumbuza ukuthi yilapho kuqala khona ukucwasana entsheni ngokwebala, ngokobulili, ngobuzwe kanye nezinye izindlela. Umdlalo lo uveze ithuba elisemqoka lokusungula izindlela zokulwa nalesi simo esibhekana nabafundi abasebancane.

UNksz Camilla Wolfson obelingisa ngonodoli kanye noMnu Brandon Moulder odlale indawo kamfana wesikole balingise ngokuvelele. Iyancomeka indlela ababhali beSplinters abahlanganise ngayo lomdlalo.

‘Akumelanga ukuhlukumezana kwabafundi kuthathwe njengento woke umfundi okumele abhekane nayo nje,’ kusho ababhali. ‘Entsheni eningi kuzwelonke lesi simo senza abafundi bathuthumele uma beyiswa esikoleni, kuyabahlukumeza, kokunye kubaqhube baze bacabange ukuzibulala kuze baphumule kulokhu,’ kusho ababhali. 

Click here for english version


author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

ACADEMIC PRESENTS ON CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

ACADEMIC PRESENTS ON CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Mr Stan Hardman, senior lecturer in the Leadership Centre, gave a talk recently to the Nelson Mandela Bay’s Business Chamber in Port Elizabeth. Sponsored by ABSA the talk was intended help the Chamber to consider its policy on Corporate Social Investment (CSI) and to get networking going.

The talk focused on how corporates should view their CSI spends in the context that we find ourselves in. The question posed was how business can partner with government and civil society in areas of mutual concern. Hardman said.’ ‘The key danger is that business must not take over the responsibilities of government or civil society, but partner them to develop their own competencies in relation to the inter-sectoral social contract.’

The function was held at the Raymond Mhlaba Centre and was attended by delegates from the Business sector, NGOs, and local government.


author email : pillaykri@ukzn.ac.za

WARM PRAISE FOR LEADERSHIP CENTRE PRESENTATION IN THE UK

WARM PRAISE FOR LEADERSHIP CENTRE PRESENTATION IN THE UK

Professor Kriben Pillay from the Leadership Centre recently premiered his performance work on Shakespeare and Consciousness, Not an Angry Ape, at the Fourth International Conference on Consciousness, Theatre, Literature and the Arts at the University of Lincoln in the UK.

A professional actor and lectuer, Mr Derek Warriner, who is also completing his MA in Theatre and Consciousness at Lincoln University, recently wrote the following review of actor Vaneshran Arumugam’s performance of the piece:

“On the evening of 28 May 2011 I was able to experience a real pleasure. I saw a man produce a performance of such intensity and depth that I was truly taken away from myself and taken to another place, somewhere I had never been before.

‘This part lecture part performance on Shakespeare and some of his characters began with silence, a perfect silence, a silence in which one could lose oneself and begin to see things anew. From this point it grew, until the characters being portrayed and the presence of the performer as lecturer filled the space, taking you with him into whichever space he was defining at that moment.

He switched from lecturer to Othello, from Othello to Iago, all seamlessly and with clarity of character definition. Sometimes hands defined a character, sometimes an empty space, but each was created meticulously and driven by an inner force that was almost tactile in its properties.

At last the final character had spoken and we the audience were gently transported back to, what for a small time seemed to be, a lesser world; reality was once more our living space.
A truly inspired piece of work, thank you for allowing me to share it with you.’

Professor Pillay has received an invitation to take the work to Cape Town and Namibia, and the Science and Nonduality Conference organisers are currently considering it for this year’s conference in California.


author email : pillaykri@ukzn.ac.za