World Watch

19 March 2007

Education Minister Naledi Pandor is expected to draft legislation which would spell out the circumstances under which schools can test pupils for drugs. Pandor said that she believed that drugs might be contributing to the "psychotic kind of conduct" in schoolchildren. Some schools in the Western Cape and in Durban have already adopted a policy of testing pupils for drugs.

Frederica Bellusci, an Italian language lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, was knighted by the Italian Ambassador, Alessandro Cevese, in Durban on 10 March. Former Italian consul Alessandro Prunas nominated her for promoting the Italian language and culture.

The Department of Education has allocated more than R5 million to tertiary institutions to fight HIV and AIDS, Minister Naledi Pandor announced on 9 March. "This is to ensure that individual institutions have the resources to sustain their HIV and AIDS interventions while a new plan of action gets into gear," Pandor said at the launch of phase two of the Higher Education HIV and AIDS (HEAIDS) programme in Pretoria. All 23 tertiary institutions would receive R250 000 each. The programme, funded mainly by the European Union to the tune of R160 million, is expected to run until 2009.

More that 500 students at the University of Stellenbosch have been given preventative medicine after a residence student was diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis recently. The 500 students, from the Metanoia residence, were treated with prophylactic medication as a precaution, in line with the university's established emergency protocol.

Speaking at a recent Centre for Conflict Resolution seminar at the Centre for the Book in Cape Town, Deputy Education Minister Enver Surty said statistics showed that only 22% of tertiary students graduate after five years.

Last year, 53% of government scholarships to Ugandan public universities went to science students. In line with the science implementation policy, priority will be given to science students in the awarding of government scholarships to the four public universities of Makerere, Kyambogo, Mbarara and Gulu. According to the sports and education ministry, this policy will continue until government attains its target of 75% science-based state scholarships.

The US is falling behind other developed nations in its share of its population with a college degree. This gap will widen substantially unless the nation makes tertiary education much more accessible, says a report released by Jobs for the Future, a Boston-based research organisation. If current patterns persist, the US will have 15.6 million fewer bachelor- and associate-degree holders than it needs.

Sources: Independent Online,, Chronicle of Higher Education online.

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