Saide Current Awareness
06 February 2023


Education: South Africa 


  • After Covid, South African education is at a crossroads as we enter 2023 Source: Daily Maverick  Recovering from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic made 2022 a watershed year for basic education. Now this vital sector faces another set of challenges, both political and social. Michael le Cordeur surveys the landscape, identifies the positive and negative aspects and considers how things can be improved.



Language and Literacies

  • Learning to Love Literacy- Free Online Shortcourse: Source: Facebook PRAESA's page reports the following: To celebrate World Read Aloud Day 2023, we're pleased to be able to offer a new free online short course on reading aloud to children! This course is sponsored project of the Africa Publishing Innovation Fund and is aimed at adults in sub-Saharan Africa who engage (directly or indirectly) with children in home, school and community settings – caregivers, librarians, literacy trainers, ECD trainers, preschool and primary school teachers, community workers. Email us at to find out more or to register. Carole Bloch from Praesa writes 


  • Elementary Translanguaging Writing Pedagogy: A Literature Review Source: Journal of Literacy Research The first aim of this article is to highlight translanguaging as a model that challenges monoglossic language ideologies. The second aim is to present a systematic review of peer-reviewed studies (2000–2020, 47 studies) that highlight translanguaging as a pedagogy for elementary bi/multilingual students’ writing development. Due to the historical scholarly focus on reading over writing, especially at the elementary level, this study focuses on translanguaging pedagogy in the context of elementary writing. Findings showed four themes: (a) audience awareness and authentic products, (b) collaborative learning and composition, (c) multimodal composition, and (d) simultaneous literacy instruction.


Open Education and Open Educational Resources

  • AI, Instructional Design, and OER - David Wiley, Open Content Source: Improving Learning"While most of the dialog around AI and education seems to be focused on assessment, I think the implications for instructional designers are critically important, too. And, because you’ve got to play the hits, let’s look at what their impact will be on OER as well." write David Wiley and cites rulings that indicate that output from such AI as ChatGPT cannot be copyrighted because "a work must be created by a human" in order to be copyrighted."




Post Schooling


  • Co-creating strategies key to building equal partnerships Source: University World News Ahead of a ground-breaking summit on partnerships at the University of Pretoria’s Future Africa campus, the head of research capacity development at the University of Pretoria, Dr Rakeshnie Ramoutar-Prieschl, said international collaboration is increasingly viewed as the key to successful development research and to meet shared global challenges.


  • Academics discuss violent threats against HE leaders Source: University World News The killings of university staff on and around South African university campuses have triggered some soul-searching among academics, which came to the fore during an Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) round-table discussion on 27 January.


  • What can the minister and the department do about corruption? Source: University World News The murder of Mboneli Vesele, the bodyguard of Professor Sakhela Buhlungu, the vice-chancellor of the University of Fort Hare, earlier in January, including the threat to the life of Buhlungu, have put the deadly nature of corruption in ‘historically black’ universities in South Africa in the spotlight.


  • TVET registrations decrease, female applicants dominate Source: University World News There were fewer registrations for ministerial-approved programmes at South African technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges for the 2023 academic year, at 497,032, than there were in 2022, when there were 508,000, writes Schalk Burger for Engineering News.


Skills and Employment 

  • 3 ways ChatGPT will transform soft skills learning in education Source:Bodyswaps  “ChatGPT will change the world” the tech prophets say, but how is ChatGPT going to change the way we learn soft skills? Will Artificial Intelligence (AI), combined with Extended Reality (XR) technologies, make both e-learning and coaching obsolete? And can machines really help humans be better with one another? Let’s take a look at 3 ways in which ChatGPT will transform soft skills learning..."


  • Empire Foundation sends first cohort to Russia Source ITWeb Tech non-profit organisation Empire Partner Foundation (EPF) has sent the first cohort of students to Russia, as part of its international academic programme, which seeks to develop SA’s skills ecosystem.


  • An economy short of ideas produces long unemployment lines Source: Daily Maverick Our unemployment pandemic represents the clearest sign of a private and public sector that have a collective bankruptcy of the types of progressive ideas necessary to rescue South Africa’s sinking economy.


Teaching and Learning- Local and Global

  • Teaching and Learning with Artificial Intelligence Online Symposium Source:Learning LANDSCAPE Hosted by CPUT, this event will bring together educators, researchers, and experts in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) to discuss the latest developments and challenges in the use of AI in education. Date 8-9 February 2023 12h00 -14h00


  • Making sense of pedagogy Source: written in 2020, an important and relevant post by Prof Blessinger adjunct associate professor of education at St John’s University, New York City, sharing some thoughtful insights about effective educational practices for young learners.


  • Critical Digital Pedagogy in Higher Education Source: AU Press Recent efforts to solve the problems of education—created by neoliberalism in and out of higher education—have centred on the use of technology that promises efficiency, progress tracking, and automation. The editors of this volume argue that using technology in this way reduces learning to a transaction. They ask administrators, instructors, and learning designers to reflect on our relationship with these tools and explore how to cultivate a pedagogy of care in an online environment. With an eye towards identifying different and better possibilities, this collection investigates previously under-examined concepts in the field of digital pedagogy such as shared learning and trust, critical consciousness, change, and hope.



Technology Enhanced Learning

  • South African academic weighs in on OpenAI’s ChatGPT Source ITWeb It is an exciting new era in education, with ChatGPT’s report writing likely to cause a rethink of traditional teaching and learning. Professor Alta van der Merwe is deputy dean, teaching and learning within the EBIT Faculty at the University of Pretoria shares her insights.


  • Designing Assignments in the ChatGPT Era Source: Inside Higher Ed Some instructors seek to craft assignments that guide students in surpassing what AI can do. Others see that as a fool’s errand—one that lends too much agency to the software.


  • ChatGPT represents progress but also problems Source: Mail & Guardian An opinion piece by CEO of WethinkCode,Nyari Samushonga, who looks at the third side of the proverbial coin that describes the pros and cons regarding artificial intelligence for educators, alerting us to issues of digital inequity that feed into the biases of the CHAT GPT tool.


  • Managing the digital revolution in education Source: The Educator (Australia)  Dr. Karen Murcia, Professor of Education at Curtin University, 'shares several key opportunities for school principals and teachers in helping students thrive – and not be distracted by – the increasingly digital learning environment in 2023.'



  • Put Down the Shiny Object: The Overwhelming State of Higher Education Technology Source: WCET "At this year’s WCET Annual Meeting, Brandon Karcher, the Manager of Instructional Technology at Bucknell University, facilitated an unconference session titled “Higher Ed Technology: Innovative or Overwhelming.” A thought-provoking Twitter thread flowed from the session, further considering the proliferation of technology tools used in the college classroom today. We here at WCET were thrilled when Brandon accepted our invitation to continue the discussions started in his Annual Meeting session. Brandon asks some great questions about student tech use and provides several suggestions on the best ways to be more supportive of our student’s success."