Saide Current Awareness
30 January 2023
Education: South Africa
- Leadership for transformation in South Africa’s education system Scholars argue that educational leadership for transformation and social justice must be grounded in the particular social and historical conditions in which it is practiced. The Social Development Goals Report mentions that South Africa has a documented history of deprivation and exclusion of the majority of its people.
- Matric results gender disparity – where have all the young men gone? Why are our young men more vulnerable to dropping out? Why are they failing more? What is going on in homes and communities which pulls men away from schools? And how do those factors play out in society and employment at large? Read Nicky Roberts', director of Kelello Consulting and a Professor in mathematics education, analysis of these issues.
Language and Literacies
Open Education and Open Educational Resources
- Over one million enrolments expected in public universities Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, said for the 2023 academic year, the public university sector is projected to provide 1 112 439 spaces, an additional 41 545 spaces from the previous year. Nzimande said the increment in university spaces, from 1 070 894 in 2022, illustrates that the public university sector is steadily growing.
- 'TVETs are an option,' says Universities South Africa CEO It is not all doom and gloom for all those who failed to obtain a university pass with public colleges still an option to gain skills and be self-employed. This is according to Universities South Africa (USAf) CEO Dr Phethiwe Matutu.
- AU’s ‘neocolonial entanglement’ undermines HE policies 'To regain legitimacy as a leading continental organisation, the African Union (AU) needs to decolonise itself and rely more on its member states to refocus its regional higher education policy processes towards African issues instead of excessive financial dependency on external actors which could manipulate policy processes towards donor interests.' is the main message of a study authored by Professor Emnet Tadesse Woldegiorgis, the director of the Ali Mazrui Centre for Higher Education Studies at the University of Johannesburg.
- SA should learn from EU expertise, says Godongwana It is critical for South Africa to continue to learn from the extensive experience and expertise that the European Union has in a number of areas and economic activities, says Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana.This was especially the case in the areas such as vocational education and training.
Skills and Employment
- Ramaphosa: ‘Equip our learners with technical skills to address youth unemployment, grow the economy’ President Cyril Ramaphosa says last year’s improved matric results must encourage the basic education sector to redouble efforts to address the “extremely serious” problem of learner dropout and youth unemployment.
Speaking at the 2023 Basic Education Sector Lekgotla, he said many learners leaving school before sitting for their matric exams made this year’s lekgotla theme, which focuses on equipping learners with knowledge and skills for a changing world, even more relevant.
Teaching and Learning- Local and Global
- Good practice in teaching (University of Manchester) In this podcast series, run by the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Manchester, the Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning and Students in the Faculty, Professor Becki Bennett, speaks to staff in the Faculty of Humanities about their teaching, what they do, what works well in teaching, assessment or student support, and gathers useful tips and resources to enhance teaching.
- Most children in poor countries are being failed by their schools 'Having teachers follow pre-baked lessons could be the answer. Although some resent the application of mass production to what they see as a skilled, artisanal profession.' Read further about the 2018 RTI report which concluded 'that programmes with slightly less prescriptive guides—a page of notes per day, say, rather than a full-on script—produced better results.'
- Confronting Tools of the Oppressor: Framing Just Technology Integration in Educational Technology and Teacher Education Power, privilege, and prejudice are embedded within technologies. While technologies can be designed and used for democratization and empowerment, they can also be used to undermine the foundations of democracy in a variety of ways. Using a conceptual framework of technologically embedded injustice, the authors engaged in a theoretical analysis of just technology integration in the preparation and professional development of preservice and in-service teachers. They investigated why the field of educational technology has been historically slow to incorporate critical approaches, in general, and in teacher education, in particular.
Technology Enhanced Learning
- Don’t fear ChatGPT: education will always trump technology Education has been incorporating and re-imagining the threats and possibilities of tech for decades. AI will be no different, says Paul Breen. digital learning developer at UC and author of Developing Educators for the Digital Age (University of Westminster Press, 2018)
- ChatGPT: IDGAF (Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Ignore the Bot)- A blog post by Peter Byrant,Associate Dean (Education) and Professor of Business Education at the University of Sydney, who puts paid to the threat of 'generative AI' on higher education as a 'kind of end-is-nighism', arguing instead for educators to adopt authentic assessments practices, suggesting that educators should assume culpability of this perecived threat if their assessment design feeds into the infinite monkey theorem. The post makes reference to Nick Caves' eloquent take on learning as a human trait built on emotion and which generative AI cannot replicate.
- Opinion: ChatGPT – what does it mean for academic integrity? Provost at Massey University, Professor Giselle Byrnes acknowledges the real concerns in the media about the new AI tools but also suggests the need to 'consider its potential as a ‘transformer technology’ with the capability to multiply our current abilities by, say, improving writing and communication; perhaps, in the same way the calculator facilitated more accurate calculations, with real possibilities for supporting second language students and those with communication and learning difficulties.'
- Can Digital Tools Detect ChatGPT-Inspired Cheating? Citing examples and providing descriptions of various AI detectors, Alyson Klein , assistant editor of Education week, reports on the potential 'AI Arms Race’ with its rapid evolution and warns teachers about the limitations of such detectors.
- Breaking What Was Already Broken: AI and Writing Assignments Excellent blog post peppered with links to the salient articles representing all the key arguments, for and against AI use, that Higher education is wrestling with. After offering some sensible advice the writer concludes: "There’s no real solution to ChatGPT that doesn’t involve hands-on writing instruction: smaller classes, authentic assessment, relationship building, and care. We’re never getting those kind of resources. So we staunch the bleeding. Because if we don’t, the next step is AI marking those AI essays — and the question of who does the evaluating is the topic for next week’s post." suggesting a protracted hand-wringing debate that educationalists will have to engage with for a while at least .