Monthly Archives: April 2020

Comments Off on Accessible to Quality Education to All Learners

We hope this mail reach you in good health and safe under this difficult period of COVID19.

On the occasion of Freedom Day 27, April 2020, we South Africa Human Rights Forum, comprising of diverse representatives of community based organisations, civil society organisations, human rights defenders, gender based activists, women, children, youth, people with disabilities, people with albinism, sexual orientation and gender identity, environmentalist, interfaith, traditional activists, academicians and individuals commend the Department of Basic Education for the comprehensive Curriculum Recovery Plan Readiness, April 2020 for recovery of the lost time for teaching and the efforts that are made for resuming the teaching and learning from 6 May 2020. We totally agree with you that the reality of COVID19 impacted enormously on the conventional physical and face to face teaching. This require pliable teaching methods that will not compromise the quality of both curriculum and outcome. We welcome the decision of Department to use the online tools and remote digital system for teaching learners. Internet is a human rights which place a duty on the state to ensure its accessibility to all in the country.

However, we are concerned that many communities have no infrastructure for internet. The Department is also aware that many leaners don’t have access to online platforms. It will also be unreasonable to expect parents to do something about this under this difficult time of COVID 19. We realise that despite these challenge the Department is going ahead with the online teaching with no alternative arrangement made for learners who don’t have access to online platforms. This means efforts to recoup learner’s time will only benefit privilege learners. Unfortunately this will infringe on children’s safeguarded rights to equality, respect of human dignity; as well as section 28 which esteem children’s matters as paramount. The departments has a duty to protect and promote every leaner’s right to access quality, equitable and relevant education. Over and above this, the Minister is expected to ensure no child is left behind in effecting the realisation of Goal 4 of Sustainable Development which promotes accessible quality education for all learners.
In this regard, we are calling the Minister of Basic Education to make alternative arrangements for leaners who don’t have access to online platform to access quality education during and beyond the lockdown. We request the Minister to particularly do the following;

(A) Access to Quality Education and access of online lessons

1. Provide 5g for Primary Learners : Grade 7-5
2. Provide 15g for Secondary Learners : G10-12
3. Buy time on local radio stations for wider access of lessons for (i) Local Radio Programming Broadcasting Curriculum Lessons , as per Grade Group
4. Audio lessons on SD Cards to be distributed among learners in rural areas with curriculum guides and time frames
5. Data bundles for resourced learners with smartphones in urban areas
(B) Poor Infrastructure development in schools

1. To progressively address the issue of poor school conditions in disadvantaged communities
2. Forge partnership with communities and private sector to provide generators in school with no electricity

(C) Mitigation and Protection of Learners from spread of COVID 19

1. Promote practice of hygiene by making wearing of face masks compulsory in all schools
2. Provide safe water for regular washing of hands with soap
3. End inhuman degrading condition of sanitation in disadvantaged communities , posing health risk to learners and teachers

(D) Long term and sustainable solution

1. Increase capacities for advancement of work of the Department by advertising new in sectors working in communities. Especially within the creative artisan, writers, authors, story tellers, ICT, retired teachers, nurses, and youth for example will benefit immensely as a group with highest unemployment rate in the country. We believe the sectors will add value in to your work this time of need. Lastly, forge partnerships with communities to curb crime, violence, drugs, and gender based violence, including playing constructive roles in curbing the pandemic and successful delivery of the recovery plan.

For More Details Please Contact;

Corlett Letlojane
HURISA Executive Director
082574 7773 & 072 3588611

Dithebe Elias Polelo
GVette Wonga

Kentse Badirwang
Pelegi Movement

Landiwe Mathibela

Bafana Hlatshwayo


Comments Off on Rationale for everyone to wear a face-mask to reduce Coronavirus transmission

Face-masks are routinely used by healthcare workers to prevent the nosocomial spread of infections in hospitals. There has been considerable debate about the utility of widespread use of face-masks in the general public to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

1.There is good evidence to show that face-masks significantly reduce the spread of infectious droplets. A recent study involving 246 patients demonstrated that face-masks significantly reduced the detection of Ccoronavirus in the exhaled breath of Covid-19 patients. While 30% to 40% of 10 patients without masks had Coronavirus in their exhaled breath, none of the 11 Covid19 patients with masks had Coronavirus in their exhaled breath (refer to Table 1b below).

2.Through lowered amounts of exhaled Coronavirus, wearing a mask should reduce the spread of virus from individuals with the virus. The masks also reduced exhaled Influenza virus, though to a lesser extent.

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Category: covid-19

Comments Off on UNAIDS is deeply saddened by the death of pioneering HIV scientist and researcher Gita Ramjee

GENEVA/PRETORIA, 2 April 2020—UNAIDS is shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Gita Ramjee, who died of COVID-19 related complications on 31 March 2020. Her death is an immense loss to the HIV prevention research community. UNAIDS offers its full support to all efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and prevent more loss of life.

“I am deeply saddened at the news of the passing of Gita Ramjee,” said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “She was an eminent scientist who dedicated her life to HIV prevention for women and girls in Africa. Her death is a huge loss at a time when the world needs her most. My condolences to her family, friends and colleagues.”

Ms Ramjee is globally recognized for her ground-breaking research in the field of HIV prevention technologies for women. In 1996, she led a trial on vaginal microbicides for the prevention of HIV among a group of sex workers in Durban, South Africa. The trial was her introduction to the HIV community and was the beginning of her commitment to women-initiated HIV prevention technologies that she pursued with unwavering dedication and commitment for more than two decades.

She held the position of Chief Specialist Scientist at the Aurum Institute, where she worked to improve the health of people and communities through HIV prevention, research and innovation. She previously held the positions of Chief Specialist Scientist and Director of the South African Medical Research Council’s HIV Prevention Unit and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Global Health, University of Washington. She was also an Honorary Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Ms Ramjee received several distinguished awards and accolades for her scientific contributions. In 2018, she was awarded the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership/European Union Outstanding African Female Scientist Award. She also co-chaired the Microbicide Conferences in 2006, 2008 and 2010 and in 2012 was honoured with the conference’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

UNAIDS mourns her untimely passing and will endeavour to honour her memory by continuing to support global efforts to find methods that enable women to take control of their HIV prevention and reproductive health and rights through informed choices.

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Category: covid-19