Focus 55 Chapters

Alex | Dec 15, 2009
Despite the odds, they succeed by E. Mathakga Botha

Students at university experience feelings of isolation and exclusion based on, among other factors, disadvantage in ability to attain success in their studies as a result of a variety of culturally and linguistically different social capital.

Growing, in spite of: The story of the Islamic University of Gaza, 1977 – 2013 by Said Ahmed EL-Namrouti

The story of the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) is not just a story of growth in numbers, from 25 students in 1978 to 20 000 in 2013; it is also a story of modernisation. In 1978, the only subjects taught to those 25 students studying in tents were Sharia Law and Arabic Language. Now Religious Foundation is a separate faculty, alongside faculties of Commerce, Engineering, Medicine and Arts.

Wanted: Accountable Principals by Louise Smith

"What then makes a good principal, one capable of leading his/her school to success in examinations, on the playing fields, and in the preparation of learners for the hard knocks of life? There is no short answer to this question. There are, however, issues that point to the answer, most which relate to the principles of accountability.”

Bridge’s communities of practice for school principals – A driver of innovation in South African education by Barbara Dale-Jones

The work of Bridge – an innovation agency in South African education The education system is rife with dysfunction and yet filled with creative innovation. This anomaly led to the emergence of Bridge, an organisation which aims to create linkages between instances of effective practice in the belief that connecting what works can have the effect of changing the system for the better. Bridge is an education-focused non-profit organisation that links innovators in education in South Africa.

A narrative: A nomad’s view on education in South Sudan and Uganda by Nomvula Matakutso Mkencele

It is true that we can make plans but we cannot always dictate the events that take place while we are travelling on the path we’ve chosen. In my case the destination was Kampala. In July last year I left South Africa for Uganda to run a marketing company and establish a development consultancy with a friend. As in all good stories, everything didn’t go as planned. I then met Dr. Ian Clarke, mayor of Makindye District and Mr. Robert Common, Programmes Director for HOPE for Children, and ended up working with them as a fund raiser for a Public Private Partnership initiative called Events For Namuwongo (EFN). It was during this time in Kampala that South Sudan became more than just a new country I was interested in visiting.

Laurie Nathan’s ‘Community of insecurity: SADC’s struggle for peace and security in Southern Africa’ - Book Review by Andre Dumon

Laurie Nathan’s authoritative examination of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is a well sustained analysis on its failure to achieve its main objectives: peace and security in the region. The reasons for this failure are argued to portend a dark future for the regional organisation and its stated objectives. As someone who served SADC in an advisory capacity, Nathan’s analysis certainly provides a privileged perspective and he should be given an attentive reading.

Hlumelo Biko’s ‘The Great African Society: A plan for a nation gone astray' - Book Review by Wim Louw

Hlumelo Biko is the son of Steve Biko and Mamphela Ramphele. He holds a Master of Science degree in International Business Government Relationships from Georgetown University, Washington. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, with majors in History and Politics, from the University of Cape Town. Biko boasts a successful 13 year career as a venture capitalist. He is an executive Chairman of Spinnaker Growth Partners and, before this, he was Managing Director at Circle Capital Ventures. He is an investor in, and, Board Member of, entities like Mediclinic, EduLoan, Endeavor, the African School of Excellence, and Kommunity Group Projects. He has worked for the World Bank. He is a consultant. He is an analyst. He is the vice-chairman of the Baxter Theatre.

Focus 68 - Education: Overcoming & Innovation

Welcome to the first 2013 issue of Focus, devoted to education and organised along the themes of Overcoming and Innovation. This issue of Focus is an attempt to broaden and deepen the education debate, moving beyond our stagnant litany of educational woes. It includes personal perspectives, as well as expert opinions, because education should be understood as much through the lived experience of learners and families as through policies and theories. There is an emphasis on the Arts, an increasingly neglected weapon in our armoury against both ignorance and exclusion.

Helen Suzman Memorial Lecture 2011

22 November - The 2011 Helen Suzman Memorial Lecture was delivered by retired Constitutional Court Judge Kate O' Regan and was entitled "A Forum for Reason: Reflections on the Role and Work of the Constitutional Court."

Issue Twenty Six - May 2013 - Accountability

This Roundtable, which was held on Wednesday 22 May, deals with the issue of Accountability in South Africa. A number of themes were expanded on by our panellists. These included the relationship between government and the electorate, the proper role of public officials, public perceptions and expectations, the role of the media and other public bodies, and ways forward. The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) brought together a set of panellists drawn from the world of politics, academia, and the media. The panellists were Prof Alex van den Heever, Mr Mmusi Maimane, Dr Mamphela Ramphele and Mr Nic Dawes. The panel discussion was chaired by the director of the HSF, Mr Francis Antonie

Helen Suzman Memorial Lecture 2010

The 2010 Helen Suzman Memorial Lecture was delivered by Judge Meyer Joffe and was entitled "Promoting the Constitution through Judicial Excellence."