Annie T. Doe Foundation Opens Free Computer Training Program for Girls

first_imgThe founder of the Annie T. Doe Memorial Foundation (ATDMF), Mrs. Saya Doe Sio, along with her husband, Mr. Francis K. Sio, has added to their free basic primary elementary school a free computer literacy program for senior high school girls in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.Opening the new program recently, Mr. Eddie L. Williams, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Grand Bassa County Authority, on behalf of the Superintendent and other county leadership, thanked the ATDMF and the ROZALIA Foundation “for this great opportunity given to the young women of the county.” Williams encouraged the students to make good use of the value-added skills as the world is now in the age of technology. He told them to be committed and focused as these skills can land them jobs and better prepare them for future challenges, including doing research in college. The county’s PRO further challenged them to use the skills they will acquire to bring pride to the sponsors, and to serve as ambassadors of the ATDMF. Williams also pleaded with the ATDMF to extend the free computer literacy program to other schools in the county so that more girls will have the opportunity to become computer literate.The District Education Officer (DEO), Thomas Kerkula, thanked the ATDMF for what he termed as “this worthwhile venture,” and encouraged the students to take the opportunity seriously. He also appealed to the ATDMF to extend their program to other schools in the county.For his part, Mr. Eric D. Peters, coordinator of the ATDMF in Liberia, outlined the goals of the Foundation and disclosed that it intends to carry out many women empowerment programs, beginning with Grand Bassa County. Peters encouraged the youths, especially females in the county, to take advantage of the Foundation’s Women Empowerment programs aimed at preparing them for a better future. He thanked the ROZALIA Foundation, a Switzerland-based organization, which is partnering with ATDMF, for sponsoring the computer literacy program for girls in Liberia.” Mr. Peters also announced that a tailoring training program for more than 40 girls will begin by the end of this month.The ATDMF runs a free primary institution for kids in Buchanan, presently running from nursery to grade 2. The Foundation supplies students with uniforms, text and note books, pencils, pens and book bags. The staff of the academy is paid from donations received by the Sios. Mrs. Sio told the Daily Observer that her Foundation’s mission is to empower today’s generation for a better tomorrow by providing free primary Christian-based education to youth in underserved and marginalized communities in Liberia.“Every child deserves the right to a sound education. Our goal is to stop the epidemic of high illiteracy rate among children in marginalized communities by providing free primary Christian education to over 200 young Liberians from pre K through 6th grade,” she stated.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Flaring at Spectra Energy

first_imgSpectra Energy in Taylor is prepping for shutdown later this week.In preparation of the shutdown of the McMahon Gas Plant, Spectra will be flaring, at the facility on Thursday and Friday of this week as well as at the facility at Mile 72 of the Alaska Highway.Both days periodic flaring will occur starting at 8am. – Advertisement -The flaring is needed to allow Spectra to shut down the plant for maintenance, inspections and upgrades. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the plant at 789-6500last_img

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Gymnastics Club rolls into summer

first_img***This story originally said the year-end performance was on June 6th.  The correct date is the 26th. Registration costs $175 per week for full-day sessions and $90 per week for half-days. Discounts are available for families with more than one registered child.For more information, visit www.npga.ca or call 250-787-5327. The North Peace Gymnastics Association is tumbling towards an action-packed summer.On Saturday, June 26th, the club will host its annual year-end performance, starting at 11 a.m.- Advertisement -The NPGA will then kick off nine straight weeks of summer camps on July 5th.The camps, running Monday to Friday, offer half- or full-day sessions including gymnastics instruction and other activities.There are three different camps being offered, including a Kinder Camp (for 3-5 year-olds), Youth Camps (for 6-10 year-olds), and “Trampoline and Tumbling” (for children 8 and up).Each week will be based on a different theme, ranging from ‘Disney Character Fun,’ to ‘Wild, Wild West’ to ‘Space Camp.’Advertisementlast_img read more

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405 North reopens after morning crash

first_imgThe California Highway Patrol got traffic on the 405 Freeway moving in both directions after a Land Rover flipped in the Sepulveda Pass mid-morning, The California Highway Patrol received a report of the sport utility vehicle on its back around 9:11 a.m. and dispatched investigators to the scene. They found the white truck wheels up on the 405 North near Getty Center Drive, its passenger compartment flattened and surrounded by a crowd. CHP Officer Francisco Villalobos said they closed three lanes to determine the source of the accident. By 10:15 a.m., they had the scene cleared. The Los Angeles Fire Deparment sent crews to the scene but reported no transports to local hospitals. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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A Roy-al pennant victory

first_imgST. LOUIS — Call him Roy Wonder, the 20-game winner in the same rotation with Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte and the one who finally pitched the Houston Astros into the World Series. While Roy Oswalt usually prefers to be out of the spotlight, he is the toast of Houston and the MVP of the NL championship series after allowing one run in seven innings Wednesday night in a 5-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals that sent the Astros to the first World Series in their 44-season history. “He was on tonight, and we’ve seen it many times, no-hit stuff early,” Clemens said. “What we saw tonight is what I’ve been witnessing for two years. The guy’s won 20 games twice and they talk about him going unnoticed. He’s not unnoticed around here.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “Yeah, I would classify it as one of the biggest games,” Oswalt said. “Just because of the history of the team, of not being in the World Series after so many years and getting so close.” Clemens and Pettitte are going to the World Series again, the former New York Yankees going this time with their hometown team. With Oswalt wrapping up the NLCS, they will pitch the first two World Series games on the road against the Chicago White Sox this weekend. And Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell, teammates in Houston for 15 seasons, finally made it to the World Series for the first time. The Astros missed a chance to clinch the NL pennant at home Monday night when Albert Pujols hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning off closer Brad Lidge to give the Cardinals a 5-4 victory. So Houston celebrated instead after the last game at Busch Stadium, which is four seasons younger than the Astros franchise. Oswalt threw 77 of his season-high 118 pitches for strikes, and allowed just three hits in the Game 6 clincher. Photo gallery: Astros vs Cardinals center_img Oswalt is 4-0 in seven career playoff games (six starts), including Game 5 of the NL division series in Atlanta last October when he won to give the Astros their first postseason series victory ever. Oswalt, who also beat the Cardinals in Game 2 of this series, made sure they didn’t have to worry about a Game 7 this year in St. Louis. “It ranks right up there with winning the gold medal,” said Oswalt, who pitched for the United States at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. “The way he went about his business gave us great confidence,” manager Phil Garner said. “He went after them, he challenged them.” The Cardinals didn’t get a hit until the fifth inning off Oswalt, when Yadier Molina singled before being out at second base on a disputed call. After Oswalt scrambled to get Abraham Nunez’s comebacker, he threw wildly to second, and shortstop Adam Everett caught the ball, making a sweeping tag at Molina. Umpire Greg Gibson called him out, though replays appeared to show Everett missed the tag. Pinch-hitter John Rodriguez then hit a sacrifice fly to score Mark Grudzielanek, who was hit by a pitch to start the inning. That was all the Cardinals got. The Astros, who were 0-5 in potential NLCS clinchers, became the only team to avenge an NLCS loss the following season. Oswalt has 59 regular-season wins over the past three years, and this year became the first pitcher since Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson in 2001-02 with consecutive 20-win seasons. Now, he has won the biggest game in Astros’ franchise history for now. NOTES: Busch Stadium hosted its last game. Forty seasons of baseball came to an end at the concrete relic when the Cardinals lost. Demolition will begin within days as crews make way for completion of the new Busch Stadium, being built next to the old ballpark. The Cards went 1,760-1,409 in the regular season at Busch and 35-18 in the postseason. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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HOST OF CELEBRITIES ARRIVE IN DONEGAL TOMORROW FOR CHARITY FOOTBALL GAME

first_imgFAI boss John Delaney, RTE’s Tony O’Donoghue, Danny ‘Buster’ O’Carroll, Brian Ormond, Marty Morrissey and professional boxer Jason Quigley are just some of the names headed to Donegal for a charity soccer match tomorrow night.The match, in aid of the Bumbleance Children’s Ambulance service, takes place at Finn Park in Co Donegal on Saturday night.Fans will have a chance to meet all the celebrities after the game which hopes to raise plenty of cash for the charity. Bumbleance provides free medical transport to more than 150 of Ireland’s sickest children. This is a family fun event and will kick of at 7pm with a mini carnival face painting etc fun for all the family with meet and great after the match with all celebritiesTICKETS FOR THE MATCH CAN BE PURCHASED ON THE TICKET HOTLINE ON 086 274 0777 OR AT MICHAEL MURPHY SPORTS AND LEISURE LETTERKENNY TICKETS ARE €5 CHILDADULT €10Family€20 2adults childYour county needs you show your support for what is going to be s big family fun evening for all the family HOST OF CELEBRITIES ARRIVE IN DONEGAL TOMORROW FOR CHARITY FOOTBALL GAME was last modified: September 12th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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DDTV: See why Donegal waters are vital to survival of Basking Sharks

first_imgDo you want to know why Malin Head and the Inishowen Peninsula is so important to the world’s Basking Shark population?Simply click on this video made by the Irish Basking Shark Study Group to find out what amazing creatures we have very often just a few hundred yards off our coastline.  DDTV: See why Donegal waters are vital to survival of Basking Sharks was last modified: November 7th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Reading boss disputes red card in defeat at Fulham

first_imgEmbed from Getty ImagesReading boss Jaap Stam insisted Danny Williams should not have been sent off in their 5-0 defeat at Fulham but admitted his side were second best. Williams saw red following a brief and innocuous looking tussle with a prone Stefan Johansen on the byline, with referee Oliver Langford adjudging the Royals midfielder had kicked out.Stam said: “I think Danny had tried to kick it out and he tumbled, the player from Fulham [Johansen] fell on top of him.“I don’t think Danny deliberately kicked him in the chest. He could have touched him but I don’t think it’s a red card.”However, Stam said his side – who had won their previous five matches – were not good enough collectively or individually.“We spoke about Fulham and the system that they play, but if you’re not switched on yourself, then you make it a bit easier for the opposition,” he said.“They played well, they’ve got a lot of quality in the squad.“Everybody who played today can do a better job. Most of the players were too soft and not good enough on the ball.” See also:Brilliant Fulham crush 10-man ReadingMartin’s future out of my hands – Jokanovic  Ads by Revcontent Trending Articles Urologists: Men, Forget the Blue Pill! This “Destroys” ED x ‘Genius Pill’ Used By Rich Americans Now Available In Netherlands! x Men, You Don’t Need the Blue Pill if You Do This x One Cup of This (Before Bed) Burns Belly Fat Like Crazy! x What She Did to Lose Weight Stuns Doctors: Do This Daily Before Bed! x Drink This Before Bed, Watch Your Body Fat Melt Like Crazy x Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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Education in South Africa

first_imgThe University of Cape Town is aworld-class institution, with its GraduateSchool of Business ranked among the topin the world – and the best in Africa – inthe Financial Times’ Global Top 100 MBAlist.(Image: Jeffrey Barbee,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more freephotos, visit the image library)All South Africans have the right to a basic education, including adult basic education and further education. According to the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act 108 of 1996), the state has an obligation, through reasonable measures, to progressively make this education available and accessible.At about 5.3% of gross domestic product, South Africa has one of the highest rates of government investment in education in the world.Sections in this article:Three bands of educationGeneral and Further Education and TrainingTertiary educationSouth Africa’s universities Spending and challenges Useful links Three bands of education South Africa’s National Qualifications Framework (NQF) recognises three broad bands of education:General Education and TrainingFurther Education and TrainingHigher Education and TrainingSchool life spans 13 years or grades, from grade 0, otherwise known as grade R or “reception year”, through to grade 12 or “matric” – the year of matriculation. General Education and Training runs from grade 0 to grade 9. Under the South African Schools Act of 1996, education is compulsory for all South Africans from the age of seven (grade 1) to age 15, or the completion of grade 9. General Education and Training also includes Adult Basic Education and Training. TABLE 1: LEVELS OF EDUCATION IN SOUTH AFRICA BAND SCHOOL GRADE NQF LEVEL QUALIFICATIONS HIGHER8Doctors Degree7Masters DegreeHonours DegreePostgraduate Diploma6General first degreeProfessional first degree postgraduateBachelor’s degree5First diplomaHigher certificateCertificateFURTHER124Diploma113Certificate102CertificateGENERAL91Grade 9Adult Basic Education and Training level 487654321RSource: Department of Education Further Education and Training takes place from grades 10 to 12, and also includes career-oriented education and training offered in other Further Education and Training institutions – technical colleges, community colleges and private colleges. Diplomas and certificates are qualifications recognised at this level.The matric pass rate, which was as low as 40% in the late 1990s, has improved considerably. A total of 581 573 full-time students and 38 595 repeat students sat the matriculation exams in 2009, 60.6% of whom passed.General and Further Education and Training Newly-elected president Jacob Zuma announced in May 2009 that the national Department of Education would be split into two ministries – Basic Education, and Higher Education and Training.South African Communist Party secretary-general, Dr Blade Nzimande, is the new minister of Higher Education and Training, while former Gauteng Education MEC, Angie Motshekga, now oversees the Ministry of Basic Education.Each ministry is responsible for its level of education across the country as a whole, while each of the nine provinces has its own education department.The Ministry of Basic Education focuses on adult basic education and training in addition to primary and secondary education. The Ministry of Higher Education and Training is responsible for tertiary education up to doctorate level, and technical and vocational training. It also oversees the numerous sector education and training authorities.The central government provides a national framework for school policy, but administrative responsibility lies with the provinces. Power is further devolved to grassroots level via elected school governing bodies, which have a significant say in the running of their schools.Private schools and higher education institutions have a fair amount of autonomy, but are expected to fall in line with certain government non-negotiables – no child may be excluded from a school on grounds of his or her race or religion, for example.The Further Education and Training (FET) branch is responsible for the development of policy for grades 10 to 12 in public and independent schools, as well as in public and private FET colleges.It monitors the integrity of assessment in schools and colleges, and offers an academic curriculum as well as a range of vocational subjects. FET colleges cater for out-of-school youth and adults.The branch oversees, coordinates and monitors the system’s response to improved learner participation and performance in maths, science and technology. It also devises strategies aimed at the use of information and communication technology (ICT), and supports curriculum implementation through the national educational portal, Thutong (Setswana, meaning “place of learning”).The latest available statistics show that in 2007 South Africa had 14 167 086 pupils enrolled in all sectors of the education system, attending 35 231 educational institutions and served by 452 971 teachers and lecturers.The breakdown of schools includes 26 065 ordinary schools and 9 166 other education institutions – namely, special schools, early childhood development (ECD) sites, public adult basic education and training (ABET) centres, public further education and training (FET) institutions and public higher education (HE) institutions.Of the total enrolled pupils, 12 048 821 (85.0%) were in public schools and 352 396 (2.5%) were in independent schools. Of the pupils in other institutions, 761 087 (5.4%) were in public HE institutions, 320 679 (2.3%) were in public FET institutions, 292 734 (2.1%) were in public ABET centres, 289 312 (2.0%) were in ECD centres, and 102 057 (0.7%) were in special schools.The total of 26 065 ordinary schools comprised 15 358 primary schools, with 6 316 064 pupils and 191 199 teachers; 5 670 secondary schools, with 3 831 937 pupils and 128 183 teachers; and 5 037 combined and intermediate schools, with 2 253 216 pupils and 74 843 teachers.Other educational facilities included 2 278 ABET centres, 50 public FET institutions, 4 800 ECD centres and 23 HE institutions.In state-funded public schools, the average ratio of pupils (also known as learners) to teachers (educators) is 31.5 to one, while private schools generally have one teacher for every 17.5 scholars.Tertiary education Higher Education and Training, or tertiary education, includes education for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, certificates and diplomas, up to the level of the doctoral degree.A matric endorsement is required for the study of university degrees, with a minimum of three subjects passed at the higher, rather than standard, grade, although some universities set additional academic requirements. A standard school-leaving South African senior certificate is sufficient for technical qualifications and diplomas.South Africa has a vibrant higher education sector, with more than a million students enrolled in the country’s 24 state-funded tertiary institutions: 11 universities, five universities of technology, and six comprehensive institutions.These have recently been integrated, with the country’s former 36 universities and “technikons” being amalgamated into larger tertiary institutions. Higher education is also offered at hundreds of private institutions, which are registered with the Department of Education to confer specific degrees and diplomas.Many of South Africa’s universities are world-class academic institutions, at the cutting edge of research in certain spheres. Although subsidised by the state, the universities are autonomous, reporting to their own councils rather than government.South Africa’s universities Recently restructured, South Africa’s 21 public higher education institutions offer a range of study and research options for both local and international students.The restructuring focused, and in some cases reconfigured, the educational programmes on offer – which previously still reflected the structure and priorities of the old apartheid-based system.The restructuring also brought in comprehensive universities, a new type of institution designed to cater for the merger of some universities with former “technikons”. Comprehensive universities offer a broad range of degrees, diplomas and certificates, and will help widen access to tertiary education in the country.Here’s a quick rundown of South Africa’s 21 universities, in alphabetical order.Cape Peninsula University of Technology Incorporating the former Cape and Peninsula technikons, the university is the largest in the Western Cape, with over 25 000 students on two main campuses, in Bellville and Cape Town.Cape Peninsula University of Technology website Central University of Technology Incorporating the former Technikon Free State and Vista University’s Welkom campus, the university is based in Bloemfontein. Over 100 courses are offered in three faculties: management; engineering, information and communication sciences; and health and environmental sciences.Central University of Technology website Durban University of Technology Incorporating the former ML Sultan, Natal and Mangosuthu technikons, as well as the former University of Zululand’s Umlazi campus, the university has major campuses in Durban and Pietermaritzburg as well as satellite campuses in Umlazi.Durban University of Technology website Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University The university has more than 20 000 students and about 2 000 staff members spread across eight campuses in the Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape and George in the Western Cape. It incorporates the former PE Technikon, University of Port Elizabeth and Vista University’s Port Elizabeth campus.Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University website North West University North West University has more than 45 000 students spread over four campuses. It offers parallel instruction in Afrikaans, English and Setswana, and is experimenting with simultaneous instruction on its Potchefstroom campus.North West University website Rhodes University Based in the Eastern Cape town of Grahamstown, Rhodes University is over a century old and is best known for its journalism department. The university has some 500 academic staff and 7 000 students.Rhodes University website Stellenbosch University Situated in the wine-growing region of Stellenbosch, 60km from Cape Town, Stellenbosch University has four campuses: the main campus at Stellenbosch, the health sciences faculty at Tygerberg Hospital, the business school in Bellville, and military sciences faculty in Saldanha.Stellenbosch University website Tshwane University of Technology Incorporating the former Northern Gauteng, North West and Pretoria technikons, Tshwane University of Technology offers masters and doctoral programmes in addition to degrees, certificates and diplomas.Tshwane University of Technology website University of Cape Town South Africa’s oldest university, founded in 1829, has one of the most picturesque campuses in the world, situated on the slopes of Table Mountain’s Devil’s Peak and overlooking Rondebosch in Cape Town. The university is regarded as one of the top research institutions on the continent, with more “A” rated scientists than any other South African university. The university is home to Groote Schuur Hospital, where the world’s first heart transplant took place in 1967.University of Cape Town website University of Fort Hare Fort Hare, dating back to 1916, is the oldest historically black university in the country. It has been the academic home of many of South Africa’s most prominent leaders, including Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Govan Mbeki, and Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Fort Hare has three Eastern Cape campuses, in Alice, Bhisho and East London. The university offers a range of degrees and diplomas in its faculties of education, science and agriculture, social sciences and humanities, management and commerce, and at the Nelson Mandela School of Law.Iniversity of Fort Hare website University of Johannesburg Incorporating the former Rand Afrikaans University, Technikon Witwatersrand and Vista University’s Johannesburg campuses, the university offers both technical and academic programmes for around 45 000 students.University of Johannesburg website University of KwaZulu-Natal Incorporating the former Durban-Westville and Natal universities, the university covers five campuses in Durban and Pietermaritzburg.University of KwaZulu-Natal website University of Limpopo Formerly the University of the North, and based in South Africa’s northern Limpopo province, the university provides training in three faculties: humanities; management sciences and law; and sciences, health and agriculture.University of Limpopo website University of Pretoria Established in 1930, the university is one of South Africa’s largest, with almost 40 000 students, including over 2 000 international students from 60 countries. The university’s Gordon Institute of Business Science, established in Johannesburg in 2000, has already earned an international reputation, while its faculty of veterinary science at Onderstepoort is the only one of its kind in South Africa.University of Pretoria website University of South Africa Unisa is one of the largest distance-learning universities in the world, made larger by the recent incorporation of the former Technikon SA and Vista University’s distance education division. Based in Pretoria, it offers distance education programmes – both academic and technical – to students across the country, the region and the world.University of South Africa website University of the Free State Established in 1904, the university is home to around 20 000 students, 16 000 on the main Bloemfontein campus and 3 000 enrolled in the university’s distance and internet learning programmes.University of the Free State website University of the Western Cape Originally established in 1959 as an ethnic college for coloured students, the university provides facilities for over 12 000 students across 68 departments and 16 institutes, schools and research centres.University of the Western Cape website University of the Witwatersrand Based in Johannesburg, Wits University is one of the country’s leading research institutions, attracting students from across Africa. Since full university status was granted in 1922, Wits has produced more than 100 000 graduates across a range of disciplines. The university offers degrees in the faculties of engineering and the built environment, humanities, health sciences, science and commerce.University of the Witwatersrand website University of Venda The University of Venda for Science and Technology, situated in Thohoyandou in Limpopo, offers career-focussed programmes in the fields of health, agriculture and rural development; humanities, management sciences and law; and natural and applied sciences.University of Venda website Vaal University of Technology The university has around 15 000 students spread across its main campus in Vanderbijlpark, 60km south-west of Johannesburg, and four satellite campuses, which include the Sebokeng campus of the former Vista University.Vaal University of Technology website Walter Sisulu University Incorporating the former Border and Eastern Cape technikons and the University of the Transkei, the university has around 20 000 students spread across its campuses in East London, Butterworth, Queenstown and Mthatha. It offers a range of degrees, certificates and diplomas in 11 faculties, and hosts an MBChB programme in Mthatha.Walter Sisulu University website Spending and challenges Compared with most other countries, education gets a really big slice of the pie – usually around 20% of total government expenditure. In the 2008/9 national Budget education received R140.4-billion, amounting to 18.5% of total spending.More money is always needed to address the huge backlogs left by 40 years of apartheid education. Under that system, white South African children received a quality schooling virtually for free, while their black counterparts had only “Bantu education”.Education was viewed as a part of the overall apartheid system, which included the “homelands”, urban restrictions, pass laws and job reservation. The role of black Africans was as labourers or servants only. As HF Verwoerd, the architect of the Bantu Education Act of 1953, conceived it: “There is no place for [the African] in the European community above the level of certain forms of labour. It is of no avail for him to receive a training which has as its aim, absorption in the European community.”Although today’s government is working to rectify the imbalances in education, the apartheid legacy remains. The greatest challenges lie in the poorer, rural provinces like the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Schools are generally better resourced in the more affluent provinces such as Gauteng and the Western Cape.Illiteracy rates currently stand at around 18% of adults over 15 years old (about 9-million adults are not functionally literate), teachers in township schools are poorly trained, and the matric pass rate remains low.While 65% of whites over 20 years old and 40% of Indians have a high school or higher qualification, this figure is only 14% among blacks and 17% among the coloured population.The government is in particular targeting education for the poorest of the poor, with two notable programmes. One is fee-free schools, institutions that receive all their required funding from the state and so do not have to charge school fees. These have been carefully identified in the country’s most poverty-stricken areas, and will make up 40% of all schools in 2007.The other is the National Schools Nutrition Programme, which feeds about 7-million schoolchildren every day, including all those attending primary schools in 13 rural and eight urban poverty nodes. The programme was extended in 2009 to 1 500 secondary schools around the country, feeding 1-million secondary school pupils from grades 8 to 12.Under the programme, the Department of Education has also established almost 2 100 school gardens with the support of the Department of Agriculture, local government structures and a number of NGOs.Other priorities include early childhood development, HIV-Aids awareness programmes in schools, and adult basic education and training.Useful links Department of Education Thuthong national education portal South African Qualifications Authority National Qualifications Framework Education Association of South Africa General and Further Education and Training SA Schools SchoolNet SA Independent Schools Association of South Africa SchoolGuide Learning Channel Online SABC Education The Teacher Tertiary education Higher Education South Africa Council on Higher Education South Africa’s universities Cape Peninsula University of Technology Central University of Technology Durban University of Technology Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University North West University Rhodes University Stellenbosch University Tshwane University of Technology University of Cape Town  University of Johannesburg University of KwaZulu-Natal University of Limpopo University of Pretoria University of South Africa University of the Free State University of the Western Cape University of the Witwatersrand University of Fort HareUniversity of Venda Vaal University of Technology Walter Sisulu Universitylast_img read more

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SaaS: Enterprise Software Vendors Are Still Denying Reality

first_imgMassive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Tags:#cloud computing#saas Related Posts 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now IT + Project Management: A Love Affaircenter_img As Silicon Valley girds for $1 trillion wealth transfer from the enterprise software incumbents to nimble upstarts, it makes sense to look how the entrenched players are responding the challenge.While some are buying up the competition while they still can or building their own startup-like operations (praying they won’t cannibalize their main businesses), others are hiding their heads in the sand. For them, at least, the results aren’t going to be pretty.The Old GuardThe enterprise software market is big and messy for a reason: The “enterprise” isn’t a thing, precisely. Enterprises are just big businesses – and businesses do everything. Clorox, Facebook and the Department of Defense might all be considered “enterprises,” but they have very different organizational structures, revenue models and supply chains. If you’re selling software to support those differences, you’d better be ready to customize. Enter SAP, Oracle, IBM, EMC and other enterprise “solution providers.” Typically, these vendors sell customers a product for $500K, charge another $1 million to integrate it and make it work, then take even more ongoing fees to keep it running. Enterprise software products scale – which is why companies are willing to invest so much in them – but they’re expensive, slow-moving and complicated.For small-to-medium businesses (SMBs), speed and cost trump scalability, so they tend to focus on separate “point” solutions. An SMB might stitch together Quickbooks, Microsoft Project, Joomla, payroll services from ADP, and a ton of spreadsheets and email to fill in the gaps. These solutions are cheap and quick, but integration between them is often glitchy, crticial data can get lost in the shuffle, and they have an annoying tendency to fall apart as companies grow.The New GuysOver the last 10 years, Software as a Service (SaaS) delivered from the cloud has bridged the gap between the two worlds, offering scalable enterprise-class services that can be up and running in a matter of weeks, rather than months. SaaS applications are generally less customizable than their on-site competitors, but they’re a lot simpler to understand, often provide better performance, and their pricing is much more straightforward. Some of the biggest enterprises in the world are moving chunks of their infrastructure to these SaaS upstarts, and many newer companies are building their entire platforms in the cloud.Salesforce.com is the most successful example of a SaaS vendor, racing from nowhere to a multi-billion dollar valuation in just a few years. Along the way, Salesforce has proved that the cloud can, in fact, support large enterprises. The company currently manages a 25,000-seat contract with Merrill Lynch, for example, and it closed a $140 million deal with State Farm Insurance earlier this year.Deals like that get headlines, and you’d think that traditional enterprise software vendors would be worried enough to do whatever it takes to response to the challenge.You’d think that, but it’s not always true. In many cases, the big dogs don’t seem to be paying attention, and it could end up costing them.Quick ResponseSometimes they get it right. In HR for example, the SaaS threat is well understood, and the response is already in motion. Workday, created by PeopleSoft founder Dave Duffield and other PeopleSoft refugees (and powered by an underpublicized but smoking IPO) provides a full suite of hosted Human Capital Management (HCM) and financial management applications that compete directly with SAP and Oracle (the company that bought PeopleSoft). SAP responded by acquiring the cloud HCM provider SuccessFactors for $3.4 billion – a 52% premium. For its part, Oracle spent nearly $2 billion on Taleo.Game on.The LaggardsBut that’s not the whole story. There’s still plenty of head-in-the-sand thinking going on. Take Web Content Management (WCM), for example, the software companies use to store, edit, manage and publish their assets online. It’s an absolutely essential piece of the enterprise puzzle.In a podcast titled “The Big Shift,” Gartner Group’s Mick MacComascaigh declared a sense of urgency “driving attention to SaaS-based Web Content Management (WCM).” His partner on the podcast? CrownPeak CEO Jim Howard, who’s been promoting SaaS as the “new” face of WCM for the past 10 years.SaaS has plenty of benefits for WCM. It’s much more marketer-friendly, for one. Service-based solutions lack some of the infinitely tweakable options you get by running on your own iron, but they make it far easier for Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and their minions to put together something quickly, without IT help.According to Howard, enterprise sales at CrownPeak are heating up. “CrownPeak will experience over 60% growth this year, with about half of the growth coming from expansion in Fortune 1000 accounts like MetLife, Microsoft/Skype and Intercontinental Hotels,” he claims. Howard also notes that the majority of CrownPeak’s clients are companies with more than $1 billion in revenue, and that many of them plan to migrate away from in-house systems. Nothing To Fear?So why isn’t everyone launching an SaaS WCM system? According to Tony Byrne, founder of Real Story Group and one of ReadWrite’s Five Analysts to Watch, market demand hasn’t met the expectations. “Web CMS customers seem to want more platform-oriented systems, rather than highly productized, SaaS solutions.”That kind of conservatism makes a lot of sense. After all, your content – articles, video, contracts, code – is what you do and who you are. Outsourcing that to a service in the sky is a major leap of faith. It’s also the kind of thinking that keeps established software developers entrenched. No matter how clunky a system is now, a “rip-and-replace” will always bring more near-term pain.As a result, Byrne argues, entrenched Content Management vendors like EMC and OpenText are undergoing less of a paradigm shift and more of a hybrid evolution, trying to address demands for easier management without disrupting the current ecosystem. “We’re beginning to see more traditionally on-premise CMS tools begin to become more ‘cloudified,’ with managed hosting offerings, including some cloud-based alternatives. To be sure, this is not the same thing as SaaS, but it does offer a kind of compromise where you can customize and extend the platform in bespoke ways, but can outsource most of the systems administration.” CrownPeak’s Howard, understandably, thinks “cloudification” is nearsighted and misses the point. “What the old guard calls Cloud (or Hosted or SaaS) has the same IT bottleneck that their premise solution has. The only difference is that the ‘IT guy’ works for the vendor, and not the company. To be true SaaS, a company needs to design the application from the ground up to support parallel development of multiple projects, invest millions in scalable and secure infrastructure, and have services that go beyond fixing what’s broken. When you install a traditional application in the cloud, you still have all of the big, expensive headaches and poor outcomes.” In this view, “cloudified” solutions are just in-house software plus a hosting plan. But is that really what’s going on? The established vendors don’t seem to want to clear up the confusion. Many are sure selling cloud solutions like they’re traditional software. OpenText Cloud’s product page, for example, does a horrible job of summarizing what the service actually does and how a knowledge worker might actually use it. The gist seems to be a murky “We do good stuff. Call us and we’ll talk about how we can do good stuff for you.” That might work for existing customers looking for options, but it probably won’t sell well with CMOs – often the new technology customer.Winning The Battle, But…Just because the content management market hasn’t yet fully embraced the SaaS model, established vendors can’t afford to take a break. Their job is to stay ahead of customer demand – not just meet it.CrownPeak and plenty of others are making beachheads in the enterprise, one department at a time. According to Howard, “The SaaS option doesn’t have to be an either/or. In many large and very large organizations, SaaS can initially fit a niche need while the existing solution stays in place.” That approach introduces the enterprise Marketing Department to a new, responsive company that gets the job done. Since Marketing will be signing the checks, those small sales could lead to much bigger ones down the line – threatening the long-term prospects of the traditional vendors.That’s exactly how those $1 trillion wealth transfers gain momentum.Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock. cormac foster Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

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