R17bn Budget hike for education

first_img17 February 2010 Education continues to receive the lion’s share of South Africa’s Budget, with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announcing an allocation of R165-billion to the Basic Education and Higher Education departments for 2010/11 – an increase of more than R17-billion compared to the previous year. A further R2.7-billion will be made available to help the Department of Basic Education tackle serious challenges in South Africa’s schooling system, including unacceptably low numeracy and literacy levels, inadequately trained teachers, poor management, and a lack of basic resources in poor schools. Delivering his maiden Budget speech in Parliament, Cape Town on Wednesday, Gordhan said that while government spending needed to be kept in check, education remained the number one priority in the country’s fiscus. Workbooks, assessments The R2.7-billion would go towards the roll-out of workbooks in all 11 official languages to help raise literacy and numeracy levels in grades 3, 6 and 9. The workbooks would help teachers map out clear plans and guide effective use of the curriculum. An annual R28-million is also being provided for national assessments of literacy and numeracy in grades 3, 6 and 9. These assessments, announced by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation Address last week, will allow teachers and parents to intervene at the right time in students’ careers in order to improve their performance. Spending by provincial education departments is also expected to grow by 8.1 percent per year to R162-billion over the next three years.FET colleges, universities Gordhan said the country’s Further Education and Training colleges would receive R12-billion in 2010/11, with a further R1.3-billion set aside to improve the salaries of educators in this sector over the next three years. The government will use the R12-billion to promote higher training standards to meet the requirements of a changing economy, while addressing the lack of training in certain key areas. South Africa’s lack of skilled labour is hampering the country’s economic growth, with twice as many students enrolled in universities as in vocational colleges – the reverse of what is the case in most developed countries. Allocations to South Africa’s higher education institutions have grown from R7.1-billion in 2001/02 to R15.3-billion for 2010/11. An additional R1-billion is to be provided over the next three years to increase subsidies to universities, while R5.6-billion will go to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

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South Africa’s competitive advantage in the developing world

first_imgWhen the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published its Human Development Report in 2013, it contained powerful insights about the increasingly important role developing countries, such as South Africa and Brazil, are playing in the 21st century.A WEF finding notes that South Africa’s infrastructure is the best developed in the region. (Image: SA Tourism)Miller Matola, CEO of Brand South AfricaThe South (developing nations and emerging markets) are responsible for half the world’s economic output according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). To illustrate the shift in global economic power, the UNDP points out that the combined GDP of eight developing countries – Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey – equals the GDP of the United States. The implication, in the opinion of the UNDP, is that developing and emerging markets have become major drivers of economic growth and forces of change in the developing world.These changes have made South Africa an important economy in the changing global, and by extension geopolitical, climate. That South Africa is able to benefit is down to policy decisions guided by long-term socioeconomic vision of the government.Our success, in terms of its global perception and rankings in key influential indices – such as the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report, the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index, the World Economic Forum Travel and Tourism Index – could set a benchmark for other emerging countries to follow.Ongoing improvementA study of these research reports show a pattern of South Africa matching and outperforming other peer developing countries. These indices – in critical areas of national competency – are important indicators to utilise in the process of positioning South Africa as a reliable trade partner, and attractive investment destination.As South Africa heads towards celebrating 20 years of democracy, the country occupies an increasingly strong position globally. We remain a developing nation, a work in progress. However this continuing improvement is attributable to strong and highly focused policies that support the country’s regional and global aspirations.In the context of developing nations, global economic indicators highlight South Africa’s unique competitive strengths. These are being leveraged to good effect to enhance the country’s standing in the global marketplace. The country’s competitiveness, when measured against other developing nations, and inclusion in the Brics grouping is testament to this.Ease of doing businessThe most recent World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index ranks the country’s financial services sector, banks and stock exchange as the top global performers, while the country places 15th globally for the quality of its air transport infrastructure.Furthermore, South Africa, if compared to the other Brics nations, comes first in five of the 10 criteria the World Bank uses to assess ease of doing business:starting a business,dealing with construction permits,getting credit,protecting investors,and paying taxes.These indices are reassuring to foreign direct investors and instils confidence that the country is open for business. Investors are reassured that the country offers business-friendly environment where new trade, investment, and related economic interactions can be fostered.The 2013 World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index recognizes the government’s commitment to creating a business friendly environment. South Africa ranks first among Brics nations in six critical criteria. As a nation that offers several competitive advantages, an open business environment is an important feature to utilise as a selling point for South Africa as a business destination. The country can make a strong business case to attract trade partners, investment, and clients from fellow Brics members.New government policies introduced now make starting a business in the country easier than ever, by implementing new company law that eliminates the requirement to reserve a company name and simplifies the incorporation documents. South Africa has also made transferring property less costly and more efficient by reducing the transfer duty and introducing electronic filing.Government policy addresses the need to decrease the time, cost, and red tape companies have to deal with to get products to port and shipped to international markets. (Image: Clive Reid)In addition, a new reorganisation process has been introduced to facilitate the rehabilitation of financially distressed companies. South Africa has also improved its performance on the trading across borders rank. In the same World Bank Index, South Africa has significantly improved its rankings (by 29 positions), due to the roll-out of government policy that addresses the need to decrease the time, cost, and red tape companies have to deal with to get products to port and shipped to international markets.Travel and tourismSouth Africa is also praised for its government policies, rules and regulations relating to travel and tourism, and their conduciveness to the sector’s development. The country now ranks 29th out of 140 countries globally in the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Index, indicating that it has been making steady improvements in this area over the past few assessments.South Africa ranks third in the Sub-Saharan Africa region after Seychelles (first) and Mauritius (second). Other WEF findings indicate South Africa as high as 17th place for its natural resources, and 58th for cultural resources. This, according to WEF, is due primarily to the country’s many World Heritage sites, rich fauna, creative industries, and the many international fairs and exhibitions hosted. The latter can be interpreted as a strong selling point for the country, with communications implications.The wealth of cultural experiences South Africa can offer, adds to its tourism appeal. (Image: SA Tourism)A further positive finding WEF indicates is that South Africa’s infrastructure is well developed for the region, directly supporting the growth of the travel and tourism trade, with air transport infrastructure ranked 43rd, and a particularly good assessment of railroad quality (46th) and road quality (42nd).The golden thread that ties together and underpins all of these world ranking achievements is the strength and innovative nature of its government policies.  from the National Development Plan to the National Infrastructure Plan. Such strong government policy making, embodied in the National Development Plan and the National Infrastructure Plan, and implementation sends a clear message to the world that South Africa is open for business and is a destination of choice for investment, based on solid and trusted fundamentals.This is a strategic, best practice approach that could be replicated for the benefit of fellow emerging market countries around the world.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more

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Sesame Street And Autism See Amazing In All Children

first_img“If it’s happening on Sesame Street, we know we can create awareness on every street in America,” says Ernie Merlan, the Program Director for Exceptional Minds, one of 14 collaborating partners for a new Sesame Street initiative launched this week called Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children.Shane McKaskle, center, and the other artists at Exceptional Minds school of young adults with autismThe vocational school and studio for young adults with autism was chartered in 2011 with a vision to create a world in which individuals on the spectrum are recognized for their talents and abilities, and are able to achieve their full potential. That vision has since been realized many times over, both in the growth of the school and in the achievements of its graduating artists who now work in the demanding field of visual effects for the entertainment industry.Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children is the latest in a growing list of impressive projects that the visual effects artists at Exceptional Minds have worked on, among them “Ant-Man,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and “American Hustle.”“We are proud to partner with Exceptional Minds to create these critical resources for the community,” says Sherrie Westin, Executive Vice President of Global Impact and Philanthropy for Sesame Workshop. “This collaboration is a perfect example of what this initiative is all about: seeing the amazing in all people. These young men and women at Exceptional Minds are creative, determined and amazing artists.” “We hope to lead by example and help educate the public about autism, and we recognized immediately that Sesame Street shared that same goal,” adds Merlan.For the Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children initiative, Exceptional Minds Studio and its artists (who are all in their 20s and on the spectrum) met with Sesame’s creative and production teams at the school’s Sherman Oaks studios to brainstorm ideas and collaborate on the media content. This resulted in the creation of Benny’s Story, an animated short of young Benny as a typical grade-schooler with autism—which was originated and created by Shane McKaskle and the other artists at Exceptional Minds.Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children will provide resources to families, teachers and caregivers around the country to educate them about autism, and tools to help families touched by autism with everyday activities. This initiative was funded with generous support from American Greetings, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and Kristen Rohr, and aligns with Sesame Workshop’s mission to help all children grow smarter, stronger and kinder.“I think all of us have felt left out or different when we were younger. I don’t think I ever felt truly accepted until I got here at Exceptional Minds,” says McKaskle, who is part of Exceptional Minds’ graduating class of 2015 and now provides contract services by the project for Exceptional Minds Studio, an approved studio for Paramount, HBO, Disney, Marvel Studios, 21st Century Fox and Lionsgate.Autism affects one in 68 children. Currently, the majority of the nation’s 3.5 million people with autism are unemployed or underemployed, according to government statistics. More than 500,000 U.S. children impacted by autism will enter adulthood during this decade, with one in 68 children to follow. Exceptional Minds is the only vocational school and working studio to prepare and successfully place young men and women with autism in careers in the fields of animation and visual effects.last_img read more

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CTVs THE LAUNCH Debuts at 1 In Canada Hitting the High Notes

first_imgOn Music Platforms:Immediately following the broadcast, Staats found himself sitting on top of Canada’s All-Genres iTunes Song Chartwith his new original song “The Lucky Ones”, surpassing superstars Justin Timberlake and Ed SheeranAfter only one day of sales, “The Lucky Ones” debuted Top 5 on the digital pop songs sales chart in Canada and #8 for all genres, and currently ranks among the Top 50 on Canadian Hot A/C radio“The Lucky Ones” has 100,000 streams already, and has been added to several prominent Canadian playlists on streaming servicesOn Social Platforms:#TheLaunch trended in Canada on Twitter throughout the duration of the broadcast and well into the nightThere were close to 13,000 mentions of THE LAUNCH-related terms driving a staggering 121.3 million potential impressions in the 24 hours surrounding the broadcast“The Lucky Ones” trended in Canada on its first day of release“We are thankful to Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast for joining our superstar mentors and aspiring artists on the uncharted journey that is THE LAUNCH,” said Mike Cosentino, President, Content and Programming, Bell Media. “The response to the show demonstrates a willingness among Canadians to embrace this entirely new, untried format, and we are delighted by the ensuing enthusiasm of audiences across social media, online, and on the streaming sites for both the show and the new song.”On the next episode of THE LAUNCH, “Ain’t Easy” (Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV and CTV GO, and super simulcast on CTV Two and Much, and in French on VRAK), emerging artists Basil Phoenix, Divine Lightbody, Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine, JP Maurice, and LITEYEARS audition in front of celebrity mentors OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, Grammy® Award-winner, Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles, and Scott Borchetta for the once in a lifetime opportunity to record a new original song that will be released this week.Available on all digital platforms including CTV.ca, CTV GO, and CraveTV immediately following the broadcast, THE LAUNCH: DIRECTOR’S CUT features extended auditions of the three artists that appear in the episode, as well as those featured exclusively in this digital version.THE LAUNCH is executive produced by Scott Borchetta, Randy Lennox and John Brunton; Paul Franklin and Lindsay Coxare Showrunners and Executive Producers; Executive Producers for Bell Media are Robin Johnston and Corrie Coe, who is also Senior Vice-President, Original Programming, Bell Media. Pat DiVittorio is Vice-President, CTV and Specialty Programming, Mike Cosentino is President, Content and Programming, Bell Media. Randy Lennox is President, Bell Media.SOCIAL MEDIA LINKSTwitter:@LoganStaats@alessiacara@BoyGeorge@Fergie@iek@JenniferNettles@imjmichaels@NikkiSixx@RyanTedder@scottborchetta@ShaniaTwain@stephanmoccio@BellMediaPR@umusic@bigmachine@CTV_PR @CTV_Television@insightprod@TheLaunchCTV@iHeartRadioCAFacebook:alessiacaraboygeorgeofficialfergieJenniferNettlesMusicjuliamichaelsofficialnikkisixxofficialRyanTedder1RscottborchettaShaniaTwainStephanMoccioCTVTheLaunchCTViHeartRadio CanadaInstagram:@logan_staats@alessiasmusic@boygeorgeofficial@busbee@cloudology@fergie@jennifernettles@imjmichaels@nikkisixxpixx@ryantedder@scott.borchetta@shaniatwain@stephanmoccio@TheLaunchCTV@CTV_PR@umusic@CTV_Television@iHeartRadioCAWebsite:www.CTV.ca/TheLaunchAbout CTVCTV is Canada’s #1 private broadcaster. Featuring a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming, CTV has been Canada’s most-watched television network for the past 16 years in a row. CTV is a division of Bell Media, Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, digital, and Out-of-Home. Bell Media is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. More information about CTV can be found on the network’s website at CTV.ca.Source: Numeris, AMA: Live+4 days playback on CTV+CTV Two+Much+VRAK+Canal Vie. Cumulative Reach: all airings January 10-14, 2018, including all playback up to January 14, on CTV, CTV Two, Much, VRAK, Canal Vie and MTV, Key Demos: A18-34, A18-49, A25-54.**Adobe Analytics & Brightcove Video Cloud, January 10-11, 2018*Sysomos query: #TheLaunch OR @thelaunchctv OR “watching The Launch” OR “tv show The Launch” OR “Logan Staats” OR “Scott Borchetta” OR “Shania Twain” OR busbee OR @shaniatwain OR @scottborchetta OR @loganstaats OR @vivianhicks OR “the lucky ones” OR #theluckyones OR @HavelinOfficial OR @JuliaTofficial OR @therevelboys OR @CTV_Television Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Login/Register With: TORONTO, Jan. 16, 2018 – One song can change everything – and the premiere of THE LAUNCH and its new original song “The Lucky Ones” did just that for CTV and chosen artist Logan Staats. CTV’s all-new, original music series was the #1 program in its timeslot among key demos when it premiered last Wednesday, while Staat’s single immediately debuted at #1 on iTunes.In advance of Episode 2 tomorrow, Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV and CTV GO, here’s a look at how THE LAUNCH launched last week:On Media Platforms:More than 3.2 million unique viewers have already checked out THE LAUNCH across all airings, with Wednesday’s debut seen by an average audience of 1.14 million viewers on CTV, CTV Two, Much, VRAK, and Canal VieTHE LAUNCH was the most-watched program in its Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET timeslot in all key demos, with a double-digit advantage for A25-54 and A18-49 against its closest competitorTHE LAUNCH debuted as the second most-watched program on CTV.ca after THIS IS US, and remains a Top 10 series after five daysOn CraveTV, THE LAUNCH: DIRECTOR’S CUT premiered as one of the Top 2 most-streamed series on the serviceViewership on CTV.ca jumped 32% on the day of the premiere Facebooklast_img read more

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