South Africa’s tough economic conditions, combined with limited space at public universities, is seeing thousands of students opt for distance learning annually. Students who need to earn while they learn, and people already in employment who need to upskill to boost their career prospects, consider distance learning an effective way to further their education. But distance learning comes with very unique challenges, and anyone considering it should make sure that they tackle this life-changing project with a strategy that will ensure their ultimate success, an education expert says. “Distance learning is a great way to further your career or get the qualifications you need to enter the job market, but it requires the same, if not more, discipline as full-time study,” says Elbie Liebenberg, Principal at Oxbridge Academy, which serves more than 20 000 South African distance learning students every year. She says before embarking on the distance learning route, prospective students should get in the right headspace, and make sure that they have the structures in place that will enable them to balance the demands of their studies with their personal and work lives. “You have to ask yourself some tough questions, and be honest with yourself. If you find that you come up short in one or all of these areas, you need to address them first, which will leave you better equipped and empowered to achieve your goals,” she says. Liebenberg says prospective students should consider the following: ARE YOU ORGANISED? Making a success of distance learning centres a huge amount on being able to keep balls in the air and admin sorted. You need to plan your days, your assignments and tests. If you are not the list-making, diary-scheduling type, it is a good idea to start implementing basic planning principles into your daily and work life. Once you feel in control in these areas, you can transfer your newly acquired skill to the planning required for distance . . .
Robots Race it out in Tshwane Pretoria, South Africa, 26 May, 2017 - Global industrial and electronics distributor RS Components, are one of the sponsors for the fifth EECE Race Day at the University of Pretoria this year. The Race Day offers third year microcontroller students at the department of electrical, electronic and computer engineering the opportunity to showcase their practical skills and to put theory into practise. The event, now in its fifth year, originated at the end of 2012 as the brainchild of Professor Tania Hanekom, who at that stage had already been the lecturer for the third-year Microcontrollers module EMK310 for eight years. The idea was to create a learning environment that would foster an appreciation for the complexities of the design and implementation of a microcontroller-based engineering system. Engineering students are competitive by nature and the notion of a competition was an appealing approach to capitalise on this characteristic while having fun. In essence, students design, construct and test an autonomous, line-following robot vehicle, but the snag is that the track consists of a criss-cross pattern of coloured lines. Line-follower robots as presented on the internet invariably follow black on white or white on black lines; therefore, the implication is that students need to develop the system from first principles. By levelling the playing field through a number of standardised components (for example, the motors), excellence is encouraged, since students have to use their ingenuity to devise strategies that will give their car an edge over those of their competitors. RS Components sponsored Raspberry Pi CanaKits for one of the winning teams at the event as well as various components to upgrade the gantry. Raspberry Pi is a credit-card size computer board that is used to teach computer coding and can be used in robotics and various PC type functions like running a media centre. Mellisa Naidoo, Head of Marketing at . . .
(Port Elizabeth) – Leading organisations both in the Eastern Cape and nationally reaped the rewards of their ties to the NMMU Business School as 256 individual candidates and employees from various private and public sector entities received certificates in a range of programmes at the annual Executive Education Awards Ceremony on Thursday (May 25). The Business School has seen its relationship with local and national industry strengthen, with approximately sixty businesses countrywide investing in staff development through its executive education programmes over the past year. Among the organisations represented at the awards ceremony were Shatterprufe, Badger Holdings, Eberspäecher and various departments of the Eastern Cape Provincial Government. Speaking at the ceremony held on NMMU South Campus in Summerstrand, NMMU Business School director Dr Randall Jonas said the school had adopted a highly contextualised approach to training, whereby modules were adapted to fit the strategic objectives of the organisations concerned. In addition, Jonas said the Business School had a critical role to play in advocating the “economics of higher purpose” by developing the kind of transformational and ethical leadership needed to address social ills. “We need to be that catalyst for business success as well as social progress. We consider ourselves to be a strategic partner in developing responsible leadership that impacts on socioeconomic conditions.” The director of the Business School’s Leadership Academy, Leon Mouton, said the traditional roles of leaders and managers were challenged daily in the face of a volatile and complex global economy. “The traditional models of being able to predict outcomes relatively easily do not apply any more. Therefore, the Leadership Academy’s dedicated pool of experts engages with clients to co-create and deliver educational products that equip managers and leaders to deal with this ever-changing environment.” Mouton . . .
Port Elizabeth, 24 May 2017 -- Stronger forms of ethical leadership, ethical decision-making, ethical behaviour, ethical organisational cultures and ethical values is becoming a vital driver of organisational success and societal prosperity in the 21st century. Yet, unethical practices and transgressions by private and public sector organisations appear to be on the increase. What is ethical leadership, and how can it be harnessed to create and cultivate a stronger strain of forward-thinking, responsible and sustainable organisations? These are questions that will be answered and explored at the fourth annual Nelson Mandela Bay Leadership Summit. The summit will take place on 28 June at the Boardwalk Convention Centre in Port Elizabeth and will unpack and examine ethical leadership from various critical vantage points through a curated line-up of guest speakers. During this one day event, speakers will discuss and debate themes of ethical leadership, find solutions to barriers which prohibit ethical leadership and explore new ideas and best-practices around this topic. “When ethical leadership which is deeply essential for a transforming and sustainable society is non-existent, the fabric of society and its institutions become soiled. Organisations must demonstrate its important role in society by functioning with a much clearer purpose and with higher levels of integrity, respect and responsibility,” said Dr. Randall Jonas, Director of NMMU Business School, one of the conveners of the Nelson Mandela Bay Leadership Summit. “This allows organisations to cut a more sustainable path in the future, and to add real value to employees, stakeholders, shareholders, communities and the natural environment. “Through this year’s summit, we want to empower leaders to become lighthouses of hope and inspiration in an uncertain and broken world, a world sometimes full of unknown unknowns,” said Dr. Jonas. STELLAR SPEAKER LINE-UP This year, the organisers of . . .
CREATIVE PULSE: The South African creative economy could be one of the levers with which to improve South Africa’s general economic status this – and other trends affecting the arts, culture and heritage sectors and the creative and cultural industries – are the main focal points of the South African Cultural Observatory’s (SACO) national conference this week (24 & 25 May) at the Turbine Hall in Johannesburg. #SACOConf2017 to identify trends to boost SA’s R90bn creative economy Johannesburg, 23 May 2017 – THE second South African Cultural Observatory National (SACO) Conference, which takes place this tomorrow and Thursday (24 – 25 May) in Johannesburg, will strengthen the knowledge and capacity of South Africa’s creative economy to unlock higher levels of inclusive growth. Building on last year’s theme of ‘Counting Culture,’ respected global and local subject matter experts, researchers and practitioners will this year discuss, explore and debate the theme ‘Creative Economy and Development’. Early data points to the creative economy contributing 2.9% to the South African gross domestic product (around R90-billion) – on par with global averages which sit at 3% according to a 2015 EY study. The creative economy also employs over 440 000 South Africans. The data shows the sectors contributed R24-billion in taxes in the 2013/14 period, and helped underpin the empowerment of black South Africans, women and younger people. Over 50% of the creative industries and enterprises are owned by Black South Africans, 40% are owned by women and more than 30% by young entrepreneurs. “These initial figures show the potential of an even better supported creative economy. The conference programme supports this thinking and I am very pleased to see a wide range of global and local perspectives on the programme,” said Nathi Mthethwa, Minister of Arts & Culture. Minister Mthethwa said a discussion around the creative economy and development was a pressing . . .
Owner and co-founder of Step Up Education Centres, Cindy Glass is a qualified teacher with over 20 years’ experience in helping children grow and develop into the best version of themselves. She started her career at Yellowwood Park Primary in sunny Durban and moved on to open her first after-school tuition centre in 2005 in Port Elizabeth. Two years later she had grown to three branches across the windy city, securing the world record for the fastest growing first-year Education Centre internationally. After almost a decade in Port Elizabeth, Cindy moved to Pietermaritzburg where she and co-founder Fiona Lake, decided to open another after-school tuition centre, only this time, under their own brand, Step Up Education Centres. This, Cindy says, gave them the freedom to develop and customise the course material for the South African market and saw them become the first South African company to develop a world-class remediation after-school tutoring service for learners based on CAPS system. Fellow teachers got wind of the course material and loved the fact that in addition to the localised content, it had a unique ability to demonstrate flexibility in learning which catered for the needs of a variety of learning styles and personalities. As a result Cindy and Fiona sold their first four franchises within eight months of opening. “When we opened Step Up in Pietermaritzburg, we never even thought about franchising. Now, just over a year later we have five centres in three provinces around the country,” Cindy explains. Passionate about education and the upliftment of others, Cindy is not only committed to helping children reach their potential, but also to revolutionising the the face of education. She believes that Step Up English, Afrikaans, Maths, Physics and Accounting courses are ideally suited to play a substantial role in the fight against illiteracy in South Africa. Furthermore, Cindy has a heart for struggling communities and spent two years . . .
With South Africa’s high unemployment rates and limited university spaces, matriculants are often urged to opt for vocational training. But an education expert says that many people don’t understand the various options available for school-leavers, and even fewer understand the opportunities available to those who follow the vocational training path. “Vocational training refers to training that is specific to a career or a trade, meaning that it focuses on the practical application of skills in the workplace. Instead of just giving you theoretical knowledge about a certain field, vocational training helps you develop practical skills to perform a certain role, and enables you to be productive from the first day that you walk into a job,” says Barend van den Berg, MD of Oxbridge Academy, SA’s fastest-growing distance learning provider, responsible for the education of more than 20 000 students annually. Van den Berg says there are countless benefits to pursuing a vocational qualification, but despite this, there is still a misguided perception that such a qualification counts for less than a basic degree from a university. “Obtaining a degree gives you substantial theoretical knowledge in your chosen field of study, but that does not mean that you are prepared for the workplace or that you possess the practical skills you need to perform a particular job role,” notes Van den Berg. “Although theoretical knowledge provides a foundation for further exploration and thought leadership, vocational training develops practical, immediately relevant skills which opens doors in the job market. The perception that vocational training is worth less than a degree is therefore false, as vocational learners acquire both theoretical knowledge as well as practical skills, which better equips them for workplace integration.” Van den Berg says the career options in the vocational sector are virtually endless, and incorporate almost all sectors of the . . .
Johannesburg, 22 May 2017- Twelve female engineering graduates and two female BCom marketing and economics graduates are among the 15 graduates that will be joining Barloworld Equipment’s 2017-2019 Graduate Development Programme. The 24-month work integrated programme was launched in January 2016 with the aim of developing and nurturing the company’s future leaders. Francis Graham, Barloworld Equipment’s Divisional Executive Director HR, said he is delighted to welcome the 15 new graduates to this year’s programme. “Last year eight of the 10 graduates who joined the programme were women, so to have an opportunity to develop another eight women to take up leadership roles in our organisation is an honour and privilege,” he said. Diversity and inclusion is a key focus of Barloworld Equipment’s HR strategy. That diversity includes gender diversity. “We are committed to increasing the number of female leaders and employees in our company to 40% of our workforce by 2020 and to growing the number of female engineers and artisans in our ranks. The Graduate Development Programme is one of several initiatives we have created at Barloworld Equipment to achieve just that,” he said. The two-year programme exposes the graduates to all the company’s key operational areas, giving them an in-depth understanding of the workings of each business unit. This ensures that when they take up a leadership position in the company they understand the overall business and how the units work together. The programme comprises work rotation, technical training, personal development and mentorship. Each graduate is assigned an engineer as a mentor, who provides expert advice and guidance as they gain organisational knowledge and learn about Barloworld Equipment’s operations, processes, policies and cultures. “The aim of the programme is to train and develop graduates to meet our specific leadership needs and build the future leaders and specialists that will take our . . .
• Bosch continues to empower the next generation of Africans to invent their future through an innovative outreach initiative. • More learners to be exposed to the world of robotics. 17 May 2017, Johannesburg, South Africa – Bosch a leading global supplier of technology and services in the fields of Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy & Building Technology, is set to continue empowering young learners by exposing them to the world of robotics in anticipation for the 4th industrial revolution and the future. This is part of Bosch’s commitment to furthering education and skills building in Africa. To honour this commitment, specifically in South Africa, Bosch will continue to sponsor the dedicated robotics lab at the Deutsche Schule Pretoria (DSP, German International School). The lab was officially inaugurated two years ago, in the presence of his Excellency, Mr. Walter Lindner, German Ambassador to South Africa and Dr. Markus Thill, President, Bosch Region Africa. “The DSP has shown forward thinking by integrating robotics into its curriculum. In previous years successful robotics teams presented South Africa at the World Robot Olympiad, both nationally and internationally. Bosch is honoured to continue support for the DSP’s robotics lab which further benefits outreach communities,” said Dr. Markus Thill. The unique sponsorship agreement makes it possible for the robotics programme to be available to a wider circle of learners in the Pretoria area outside the DSP community. Additional schools that will benefit from the 2017 outreach initiative include: Pula Difate Primary School, Koos Matle Primary School, Sikhanyisile Primary School, Nantes Primary School and Norridge Primary School. The recent inclusion of identified outreach schools is just in time as the learners prepare for 2017 Gauteng Explorer Competition which is scheduled to take place in August 2017. “We are very pleased to make robotics . . .
CALCULATED OUTPUT: The South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) has just launched a ground-breaking and invaluable tool for South African event and festival organisers looking to quantify the economic impact of events – big or small. The online calculator is free for use on the SACO website and will help organisers motivate for better support and understanding of their events through an economic lens. New free online tool helps SA festival, event organisers track economic impact Johannesburg, 16 May 2017 – THE South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) – a national public research entity of the Department of Arts & Culture (DAC), hosted by Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University promoting capacity building across the cultural domains – has empowered South African festival and event organisers to track the economic impact of their events. “We are pleased to announce the launch of the South African Festival Economic Impact Calculator (SAFEIC), a new and critical online tool to measure the impact of events on the South African cultural and creative economy,” said Prof Richard Haines, SACO’s chief executive officer. “This free online calculator, developed by the Cultural Observatory, has been carefully and conservatively designed and tested to produce reliable and valid results for a wide range of festivals and events – provided the data inputted is accurate,” Prof Haines said. The calculator ultimately reports on three key elements of economic impact: total spending on accommodation; total amount spent by the organisers in the host economy and the actual economic impact including the multiplier effect on the host economy. To mark the launch of this initiative, SACO will host a workshop on 23 May 2017 to empower events and festival organisers as well as role-players across the creative and cultural industries with the knowledge and skills to use the SAFEIC. SAFEIC was developed by two experienced cultural economists: Prof Bruce Seaman from . . .