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Gunmen in Nigeria kidnap six students, three teachers in southwest

Gunmen in Nigeria kidnap six students, three teachers in southwest

GUNMEN in Nigeria kidnapped six students and three teachers from a school in southwestern Ekiti state on Monday night, the state government said, in the country's first reported abduction involving school children this year. Armed gangs have been abducting villagers, road travellers and students in return for ransom, as Africa's most populous nation grapples with widespread insecurity, which also includes a long-running Islamist insurgency in the northeast. The Ekiti state government said in a statement the latest abduction took place when the students and teachers were returning from a local trip on Monday night. The school bus driver was also…
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Three South African universities have new approaches to assessing students: why this is a good thing

Three South African universities have new approaches to assessing students: why this is a good thing

SOUTH African higher education faces many complex challenges rooted in the legacy of apartheid. They include the fact that many students are unprepared for or excluded from higher education. Quality education is not available to all. It’s therefore difficult for many students to remain in higher education and eventually graduate. DANICA SIMS, Lecturer, University of Oxford The data points to two persistent trends. The first is that, according to 2018 figures, 69% of young South Africans (20-24) were not enrolled in education programmes. The second is that racial disparities remain in the profile of those enrolled at higher education institutions.…
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Ethiopia’s education system is in crisis – now’s the time to fix it

Ethiopia’s education system is in crisis – now’s the time to fix it

IN October 2023, Ethiopia’s minister of education, Berhanu Nega, disclosed several shocking figures on the outcomes of the 12th-grade national examination. Of the 3,106 schools that administered the 12th grade (secondary school leaving) examination for the 2022/23 academic year, 43% reported that none of their students had passed. TEBEJE MOLLA, Senior Lecturer, School of Education, Deakin University DAWIT TIBEBU TIRUNEH, Research Associate, University of Cambridge And, for the second consecutive year, more than 96% of students who participated in the national school leaving examination scored less than the mark (an average of 50%) required to pass. This means that hundreds…
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How students can contribute to building a better future for all

How students can contribute to building a better future for all

WE must never forget to celebrate the gains that we have made since that historic day of political liberation twenty-nine years ago in May 1994. We have a Constitution that is universally admired, we can all proudly bring out our vote, and we have a democratic and vibrant political system wherein Opposition parties utilize every inch of the leeway that parliamentary rules and the law afford them - to keep the government on their toes. Strides have been made with social upliftment and - in some cases - we have created excellent infrastructure. We have struggled, however, with the maintenance…
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<strong>ChatGPT is the push higher education needs to rethink assessment</strong>

ChatGPT is the push higher education needs to rethink assessment

SIOUX MCKENNA, DAN DIXON, DANIEL OPPENHEIMER, MARGARET BLACKIE and SAM ILLINGWORTH THE COVID-19 pandemic was a shock to higher education systems everywhere. But while some changes, like moving lectures online, were relatively easy to make, assessment posed a much bigger challenge. Assessment can take many forms, from essays to exams to experiments and more. Many institutions and individual academics essentially outsourced the assessment process to software. They increased their use of programs like Turnitin to check for matched wording in students’ assignments. And for closed-book, timed tests they used tools such as Proctorio, which monitors a student’s computer or phone…
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Thousands protest in Athens after Greece’s deadly train crash

Thousands protest in Athens after Greece’s deadly train crash

CLASHES erupted briefly between police and a group of demonstrators in central Athens on the fringes of a protest by thousands of students and railway workers over Greece's deadliest train crash in living memory. A small group of protesters hurled petrol bombs at police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades. The protesters then disperse to nearby streets. At least 57 people were killed and dozens were injured on Tuesday when a passenger train with more than 350 people on board collided with a freight train on the same track in central Greece. After protests over the past three…
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Decolonising education in South Africa – a reflection on a learning-teaching approach

Decolonising education in South Africa – a reflection on a learning-teaching approach

IT has been seven years since students in South Africa began protesting in a bid to “Africanise” the country’s university curricula. They viewed what they were learning as too neoliberal – characterised by Western values pushing the marketisation of education. They wanted universities to become more relevant to students in an African country and more connected to their own lives. The students’ calls propelled “decolonisation” to the forefront of national (and even international) debate. Decolonisation in the university context involves dismantling the institutional practices and policies that uphold white supremacist, Western values. Since then there have been various initiatives at…
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South Africa’s power cuts widen digital divide and wealth gaps

South Africa’s power cuts widen digital divide and wealth gaps

KIM HARRISBERG LIKE many students preparing for exams, Lindokuhle Mdlalose has been revising in the early hours of the morning and losing out on sleep. However, the 21-year-old's midnight study sessions are by necessity, not choice, as power cuts cripple South Africa. The country's worst electricity blackouts in more than two years, intended to take pressure off the creaking power grid after worker strikes and years of poor maintenance, have left households struggling during several hours of darkness each day. Those that can afford extra internet data, generators and solar panels are managing to cope, but for many, their studies,…
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Ghana’s high school system sets many students up for failure: it needs a rethink

Ghana’s high school system sets many students up for failure: it needs a rethink

AROUND the world, educational research has found that students’ achievement and experiences largely depend on which school they attend and the resources available to support learning. Educational policies mostly determine the distribution of resources to schools and a student’s choice of school could be limited by these policies. Authors DAVID BAIDOO-ANU, PhD Candidate, Queen's University, Ontario KENNETH GYAMERAH, PhD Candidate, Queen's University, Ontario TIMOTHY CHANIMBE, PhD Candidate, Hong Kong Baptist University In Ghana, secondary schools are grouped into categories based on their performance in the West Africa Secondary School Certificate Examination. This is a school-leaving exam that grade 12 students…
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South African universities have taken to online teaching: but it can’t be permanent

South African universities have taken to online teaching: but it can’t be permanent

THE uptake of educational technology in South Africa’s higher education sector has been highly uneven and very slow. Before the pandemic, most courses offered in South African universities had some form of Learning Management System presence. Students could access course guides and readings, upload their assignments, and possibly communicate with their lecturer and peers via forums. But beyond that, many academics seemed to resist making use of the technology, even though it could allow for greater engagement and interactive learning. SIOUX MCKENNA, Director of Centre for Postgraduate Studies, Rhodes University And then 2020 happened and suddenly everyone found themselves thrown…
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