Features

The need for postgraduate funding

Mosa Mgabhi

Postgraduate degrees are progressively becoming the standard for excellence among employers, professional organisations and colleagues as they can be indicative of superior ability. Postgrad.com, a website concerned with providing a portal for different students seeking information on postgraduate related courses across the globe, points out that postgraduate education provides “professional credibility [and] develops important transferable skills”.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Internationalisation at the University of Cape Town, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, expressed in an article she wrote for Mail & Guardian, that for South Africa’s economy to grow, new businesses and professional sectors need to develop and become areas in which “South Africans can apply their skills and engage in problem-solving that can have a global impact.” She insists that postgraduate studies have practical contributions to the growth of our economy and knowledge and that South Africa needs to be globally competitive and make its mark through research that seeks to address specific problems in technology, health, science, media, law, business and social welfare.

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Combatting school violence

 

GEMMA GATTICCHI

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was the latest target in one of the most brutal school shootings the United States has seen. 19 year-old Nikolas Cruz entered the school armed with a semi-automatic rifle, gas mask, multiple magazines of ammunition and smoke grenades. He proceeded to shoot students and teachers in the hallway of the school. He has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, all just a week before his dismissal from the school for “disciplinary reasons”.

South Africa faces its own problems with violence involving weapons at schools. This kind of violence might not take place on as grand a scale as the USA, but it is present and it remains a problem. The National Schools Violence Study (NSVS) undertaken by the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention (CJCP) indicates that three in ten secondary learners know of a fellow learner who has brought a weapon to school. National Professional Teacher's Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa), executive director, Basil Manuel says, “Our children’s lives are peppered with violence, either in the homes or on the streets, as a nation, we have simply not dealt with our violent past and the impact of societal violence on our children.”

Places like schools or churches are targeted because they are associated with a sense of belonging, to each other or to a group while the shooters probably felt out of place and alone. Psychologist, Dr Peter Langman says that school shooters often leave many signs; they talk about their plans with their friends and encourage them to join in. Roger Depue, veteran of the FBI, emphasised that some warning signs carry more weight than others. For instance, a fascination with, and possession of firearms, is more significant than simply being a loner, because possession of firearms gives one the capacity to carry out an attack. However, if a person simply possesses firearms and has no other warning signs, it is unlikely that he represents a significant risk of danger. It is only when multiple indicators is present that the risk becomes more serious.

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Listeriosis: what you should know

Katherine Atkinson

As of 2 March 2018, there have been almost 1000 cases of and 180 deaths caused by listeriosis in South Africa. The outbreak is believed to be the largest outbreak of listeriosis that the world has ever seen, and has created a considerable amount of concern in South Africa. On 4 March 2018, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced that the source of the outbreak is identified to be “polony and products from an Enterprise Foods factory in Polokwane,” says TimesLIVE. Deli meats and foods which do not require heating or cooking are known to have previously caused outbreaks of listeriosis.

The discovery of the source of the listeriosis outbreak is a considerable breakthrough in terms of controlling the disease. On 1 March, prior to the discovery of the source, Perdeby spoke to Prof Lise Korsten, who is a full-time professor at the department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology at the University of Pretoria. Prof Korsten says that for “an effective national food control system,” South Africa must not only identify “the original source” of the listeriosis outbreak but also “implement effective product recall” and “put the required resources in place.” News24 say that Listeria has been traced to an “Enterprise facility in Germiston” and “a Rainbow chicken facility in the Free State.” According to News24, these manufacturers and facilities have been “issued safety recall notices” by the National Consumer Commission. The companies must now come up with a recall plan which is “sufficient to cover their entire distribution chain, and the facilities will also have to resource and pay for the implementation,” News24 reported. Prof Korsten believes that food safety is a “national priority for all” and unless “all role players are included” and contribute to solutions, South Africa will “not be able to effectively address the problem.”

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Perdebate 12 March 2018: land expropriation without compensation

Perdeby asked students around campus about their opinioins on the land expropriation issue:

 

Akira Modise (BA International Relations)
I am fifty-fifty. I am for it and against it, against it because government owns most of the land, and people are making it a race thing when it isn’t. People genuinely do need back their land, and we need less malls. We need people who need land, and they’re not going to compensate people, that’s not fair. If you look at the farms, some people are generational farmers, with the land handed down from their grandfathers, there’s this whole history behind it and now you’re not going to compensate them? That is very selfish, and what are we going to do with that land? We need to be careful, or we will go the same way as Zimbabwe. Farming provides most of our food, so what’s going to happen then?

 

Atlegang Nyakale (BEng Chemical Engineering)
It’s a complicated issue, you can’t just take something from people without compensating, especially if they are using it for the greater benefit. If it’s contributing to the economy, you can’t just take it. From my point of view, it would be given to people that would not know how to use it effectively. You don’t want to give something to someone if they won’t use it for any benefit. So, if they are using for agriculture, then they can be given that land, but if they aren’t going to use it, they should not get it.

Read more: Perdebate 12 March 2018: land expropriation without compensation

Perdebate 5 March 2018

Noluthando Mbangula, B.Ed 3rd year

I feel like the Wi-Fi is bad. It affected my schoolwork when I was writing my test… and it submitted. It goes off and then I got a whole zero for a test [and] it was [only] one attempt. They said they can’t fix that but I feel like they didn’t know that the Wi-Fi was bad so now that there’s actually more complaints about the Wi-Fi they changed the test.

I feel like for res students, we pay so much money and it’s been going up. The res fees have been going up, [yet] the services are actually worse.

Read more: Perdebate 5 March 2018

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