During the period from August 2013 to August 2014, the Stellenbosch University Water Institute (SUWI), on behalf of the Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (EWSETA), undertook an Educational Needs Analysis of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College Lecturers in the South African Water Sector.
The key findings of the research are as follows:
- Low proliferation of Water and Wastewater Treatment (WWT), Process Plant Operations (PPO),and Chemical Plant Operations (CPO) courses at public and private TVET colleges in South Africa;
- Widespread mismatch between the skills ranked as important by WSPs in newly graduated PCs on Water and Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW) and the emphasis placed on these same skills by TVET college lecturers in the classroom;
- Lack of practical experience and / or appropriate qualifications with regard to TVET college lecturers teaching these courses. This leads to widespread in-house training (not accredited) at private companies, often with poor articulation routes.
Recommendations suggested by the SUWI research team, aimed at addressing the key findings of the research, included:
- Immediate up-skilling and re-skilling of TVET college lecturers. This can be done through the short courses and continuous professional development;
- Creating a qualification to insure the sustained output of qualified future TVET college lecturers and up-skilling of existing TVET college lecturers and other trainers in the water and wastewater sector. The qualification should straddle the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) and Council on Higher Education (CHE) educational sub-frameworks. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) should be included, articulate clearly both horizontally and vertically with existing and planned qualifications, and lastly, be flexible in terms of delivering knowledge (e.g. make use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT));
- Supporting public TVET colleges in delivering students to match the industry needs should include the development and investment in infrastructure and learning materials for better course delivery;
- Analysis of the stakeholder tour interviews indicate that it was those TVET colleges that were supported by local municipalities and / or industries that proved the most successful in creating and sustaining water and wastewater treatment courses. Long-term relationships with municipalities or private industry is one of the key factors to successfully training water sector artisans at TVET colleges.
Both technical report and a condensed synthesis report has been handed over to the EWSETA and is now available for public consumption. For inquiries into obtainging either the technical or synthesis report, please contact Mr. Niel Louw at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ms. Mercia Volschenk at email@example.com
– 2015 DROP –
BIOFUELS REGULATION PROJECT
The Development and Rule of Law Programme (DROP) has one assistantship position available for 2015. The assistant shall support DROP with research work and will also be assisting with administrative tasks as assigned (i.e. drafting documents, organising workshops).
- LLB degree, registered in 2015 for an LLM or LLD degree at US o Interest in Sustainable Development Law
- Excellent command of the English language
- Portuguese language skills would be an additional advantage as the Project has a focus on South Africa, Mozambique and Brazil
How to apply: Send CV, short motivation and abridged study record to Prof OC Ruppel – firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing date Monday 2 Feb 2015
Only shortlisted applicants will be notified
Date: 13 November
Venue: Natuurwetenskappe Annex / Natural Sciences Annex
Dr. Martin C. M. Blettler
Instituto Nacional de Limnolgía (INALI; CONICET-UNL),
Ciudad Universitaria 3000,
Santa Fe, Argentina
Drawing from our own research’s results and field expertise, this lecture offers an overview of the ecological, hydrological and morphological relationships of a very complex and sensitive large South-American watershed: the Paraná River system. This is a large and very dynamic fluvial system attractive for human settlement, characterized by several river-floodplain interactions due to the flood/flow pulse regime. Specific examples of macroinvertebrates and fish assemblages, deeply analyzed, we herein considered in order to understand physical-biotic interactions and to be aware of the extreme complexity and fragility of this kind of ecosystems. As it is relatively well known, physical habitat features are greatly responsible for spatial and temporal ecological patterns. Therefore, hydrological and morphological conditions are stream features which affect the benthic and fish assemblage composition and distribution. Nevertheless, we identified specific ecological patterns of fauna distribution at morphological units like mobile underwater dunes, meander bends (crossing-pool sequences) and large confluences (including scour holes). Turbulent flows as well as sediment dynamics over these units are strongly associated to invertebrate ecology (at different spatial scales) and therefore they may be considered as hydrologic biotopes. Invertebrate species inhabiting over those units are forced to develop body and behavioral adaptations to face the prevailing strong bed hydrodynamic forces.
On the other hand, we detected and described remarkable different invertebrate assemblages between the main channel, banks and floodplain secondary channels, revealing higher diversity and richness in the floodplain habitats. We found that the main channel assemblage is very sensitive to environmental pollution, showing a great potential to be used as bioindicator. Regarding the hydrodynamics of the system, we found that the flow/flood pulses of distinct magnitude and duration (including ENSO phenomenon) determine great changes in benthic and fish assemblage structure. Summer floods determine fish recruitments. Indeed, long-distance migratory fishes need flood pulses associated with high water temperatures to trigger migration for reproduction. Also, sedentary fishes require high floodplain connectivity during summer for juvenile development.
Finally, we remark that linking physical processes to ecological patterns, considering different temporal and spatial scales, is particularly useful to aid the understanding of the ecological legacy of anthropogenic modification and natural evolution on river systems.
The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) today announced a 30-day extension of the entry for its Innovation Prize Award. Applications can now be received by 30 November 2014 at 24h00 GMT. With a total prize share of US$150 000, African innovators stand to gain much more, such as recognition through our unique IPA brand, increased opportunities to attract investments, continental and international media attention, and the chance to positively transform the African innovation landscape.
IPA targets innovators in 5 key sectors. The competition is open to all Africans including those in the diaspora, irrespective of socio-economic status, gender, demographics or profession
The Categories are:
2. Environment, Energy and Water
3. Health and Wellbeing
4. Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs)
5. Manufacturing and Service Industry
As one of the top 10 finalists, you will receive media exposure and IPA will invest up to US$5 000 to further spotlight your innovation. Winning the prize is certainly the main attraction here, but IPA 2015 has more to offer in terms of post-prize support. So if your idea can shine bright and sustain itself, you are in the line up to receive support to take your venture further and ignite the African innovation ecosystem!
Since its inaugural launch in 2011, African leaders have endorsed IPA as an essential stimulus needed to create a platform to spur innovation across Africa in sectors critical to the continent’s sustainable development. Jean Claude Bastos de Morais founder of the prestigious annual award, now in its 4th year running, is encouraging innovators across the continent to take advantage of the 30 November 2014 deadline: “The African continent is the new innovation frontier, and we therefore encourage innovators to be a part of the IPA platform and unleash their innovation potential, not only to further develop their inventions, but to contribute to Africa’s success story.”
For further information, click here.