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Climate change & epicemics 2023: Synthesis seport for COP28
(Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation, 2023)
INTRODUCTION: As the world endeavours to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial to recognize that another crisis, unfolding at an alarming pace, demands our immediate attention. Climate change has assumed a dominant role our lives, causing unprecedented levels of distress. Populations across the globe are grappling with the devastating consequences of extreme climatic events, necessitating efforts to control wildfires, rebuild infrastructure damaged by floods, and adapt to a progressively hotter and more perilous environment. Regrettably, amidst these challenges, there is a looming threat that is being overlooked—the intricate interaction between climate change and infectious diseases. A review has revealed that climate change has the potential to aggravate over 50% of known human pathogens. This distressing phenomenon is not a distant projection but a stark reality currently unfolding before us.
Examiner’s persception of grade 10 English second language “errors” in Namibia
(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2018-12)
This study was conducted to explore examiners’ perceptions of Grade 10 English Second Language (ESL) at Junior Secondary Certificate (JSC) level and to increase awareness of varieties of English. The study is situated in the Namibian context. An interpretive approach was employed to understand how examiners perceive Grade 10 English second language learners' ‘errors’. Semi-structured interviews were used to obtain information from six participants who are national markers of Grade 10 ESL papers in the Omusati region. The data were compared to the national examiners' reports for 2012–2016. The study was a qualitative case study. The unit of analysis in this case study was the perceptions of six examiners from the Omusati region of Namibia. This study was based on a sociolinguistic approach to the language. The replies of the six respondents and the examiners’ reports revealed that the Grade 10 learners’ level of proficiency in English is not at the level or grade they are in. In other words, they do not meet the requirements of the Grade 10 level. Both datasets revealed a perceived gap between learners from rural and urban schools. Learners from rural schools were perceived to be disadvantaged in terms of English proficiency compared to those in urban schools. Furthermore, the language spoken in certain areas influences learners' production of language. According to the examiners, learners have difficulty with interpreting questions correctly and as a result, they write off-topic. The findings revealed that 80% of learners do not keep to the word limit. This negatively affects the marks allocated because the examiners have to stop marking at the number of words expected. Most interestingly, the study revealed that learners were creating new forms of English which were seen by examiners as a direct translation from learners' home language into English. These types of translation mostly occur when learners translate idioms into English and when they write about things that relate to their culture. This led examiners to consider the possibility that an indigenous variety of English, colloquially referred to as ‘Namlish’, may be emerging in Namibia. Although this kind of English has not yet been standardised, it was acknowledged to exist in Namibia alongside the preferred British English.
Research supervision as praxis: A need to speak back in dangerous ways
(Journal of Praxis in Higher Education, 2023-09-05)
Viewing research supervision as praxis offers alternative perspectives on this crucial aspect of academic work. In this paper, we consider the contributions in this Special Issue as counterpoints to dominant discourses on research supervision by drawing on the idea of praxis as morally committed and history-making action. This brings insights from Swedish research into dialogue with literature from across the world, particularly the Global South. We thematize these contributions by highlighting issues of complexity; considering how history, future and positionality shape supervision praxis; challenging narrow production-oriented discourses in favour of creativity as a foundation for supervision as praxis; and reflecting on how a shift from precarity to nuance may enable us to view supervision as praxis as enablement towards a better future. Our consideration of research supervision as praxis necessitates a stance that does not conform to the status quo, thus provoking further debate and action to think, and supervise, in non-routine, future-changing ways. As supervisors, we do not need to be resigned to futures where neoliberal regimes of surveillance, measurement and accountability shape our practices as strongly as they do today. We argue that there is a need to speak back to supervision as praxis in dangerous ways.
Complex legacies and future prospects: Conceptualising changes in South African doctoral education
(Taylor and Francis, 2023-08-21)
A number of key drivers are responsible for the major shifts taking place in doctoral education globally, including massification, globalisation, digitalisation and the knowledge economy. While each of these drivers permeates the South African higher education context to some extent, we argue that the country’s complex historical legacies provide a unique background and lens through which key drivers of doctoral education can be framed. Thus, our focus is firstly to outline the complex legacy of apartheid and its implications for the country’s transformation agenda and resulting shifts taking place in the South African higher and doctoral education landscape. Secondly, to account for some future prospects, we draw on the outcomes of the recent (2020/21) national review of doctoral programmes in South Africa. We highlight some recommendations that universities need to attend to via their respective doctoral improvement plans as a possible future agenda for driving and improving doctoral education.
"Making useful men and women of our children": Investigating the Medical Inspection of Schools in the Cape Province, 1918-1938
The history of school medical services is an underrepresented area in the South African historiography, either of education, childhood, or medicine. Little is known about the ideological or legislative origins of inspections, nor how these programmes operated, and what effect they had on social meanings of childhood and the state of child health. The thesis addresses this gap by examining the pioneering years of the Cape school medical service, (1918-1938). The Cape Province in the interwar, segregation era offers a unique case given its size and history of liberalism. In the twentieth century, the state claimed greater responsibility for the welfare of some of its citizens; ameliorating white poverty while entrenching systems to segregate those who were black, coloured, or Indian. Beginning in the nineteenth century and continuing through the twentieth, childhood was progressively regulated through state intervention, compulsory education, and child welfare work. Nevertheless, one’s class, gender, and especially race mediated the extent to which this idealised (western, middle-class) vision of childhood was a possibility for all children. The thesis applies traditional qualitative techniques and quantitative analysis to a range of sources, chief among them being the annual reports of the school medical inspectors. It is found that those promoting school medical inspections touted the service as a best means for alleviating white poverty and securing a healthy, productive white population. The thesis thus uncovers the political origins of school medical inspections and contributes to understanding how child health was leveraged in discussions of the “poor white problem”. When inspections began in 1918, inspectors were restricted to visiting school board schools which were predominantly (but not exclusively) white. In examining the operation of school medical inspections, it is found that, while the service’s value was widely perceived, financial insufficiency limited what the inspectors were ultimately able to achieve. A failure to provide medical treatment for indigent children also restricted the service’s impact. The thesis argues that demands for state involvement in the provision of free treatment offer a window on this early period in South Africa’s social welfare history and societal notions about the state's responsibility to its youngest citizens. By applying a mixed-methods approach to the annual school medical inspection reports, the thesis explores the impact of the Cape school medical service. To do this, the statistical returns of the inspection reports were transcribed which (recognising bias and subjectivity inherent in the data) constitutes a new dataset for examining historical child health outcomes in the Cape. The thesis finds, through their annual reports, the inspectors constructed an image of child health. This image comprised subjective meanings of healthiness and the contemporaneous state of child health. By measuring public and parental compliance with inspections, the thesis finds that school medical inspections contributed to the medicalisation of childhood, education, and parenting. Through their everyday interaction with children, lectures to teachers, meetings with parents and publication of official reports, the Cape school medical service altered societal perceptions of the ideal childhood.