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Education boost for Gauteng

first_imgWith 36 new schools opening in Gautengprovince alone in early 2012, morechildren will be able to receive a soundbasic education. (Image: Shamin Chibba)MEDIA CONTACTS • Charles Phahlane  Communications head, Gauteng   education dept  +27 11 355 1530 or +27 71 860 4496. RELATED ARTICLES • SA businesses urged to adopt schools • SA prioritises quality education • Zuma: SA to meet 2015 education goal • Tackling SA’s education challenges • Can drive raises R8.5m for educationEmily van RijswijckThe Gauteng Department of Education is making good on its promise to step up education efforts, with 36 new schools opening and 500 additional teachers reporting for duty in the first term of 2012.Another 300 pre-fabricated classrooms will also be added to existing schools where overcrowding is a problem.Thirteen of the schools will be ready to accept pupils when inland provinces start their 2012 academic year on 18 January, while another five will open later in the month.The remainder of the schools will be opened during the rest of the first term.While the majority of the new school buildings are pre-fabricated buildings, five of the new schools are solid brick and mortar structures.This brings the number of primary and secondary schools in the province to 2 595 – including independent, non-subsidised schools – with almost 72 000 teachers.The buildup to the new school year already starts six to eight months before, with teachers required to place orders for their support materials in May and actual pupil admissions taking place from August to October the year before.“It’s all systems go for the start of the new academic year,” education MEC Barbara Creecy confirmed at a recent press briefing, adding that the new facilities will go some way towards alleviating pressure in some of the overcrowded schools.Demand for learning space Of the nine provinces, Gauteng has seen the biggest rise in pupil numbers in recent years.According to Creecy, pupil numbers has been growing on average by 2% over the last five years, which means the province has to make space for about 36 000 additional children each year.The province has over 2-million pupils, while more than 14-million children attend school countrywide.“There is no other province that has experienced this level of demand for learning space,” said Creecy in her mid-term budget speech last year.In areas such as informal settlements, where it’s not always possible to build new schools, the education department has expanded its scholar transport scheme to accommodate these already disadvantaged children.In addition a budget of R100-million (US$12.5-million) has been allocated for pre-fabricated classrooms in schools where there is overcrowding.“We will provide 300 pre-fabricated classrooms and 100 pre-fabricated ablution blocks within the financial year,” said Creecy.Maintenance work at existing schools is also ongoing, with work in progress at 42 sites.Schools at the coast opened one week before, with the Western Cape Education Department welcoming pupils at 11 new schools in 2012. In 2011 the Gauteng education department opened six new schools.Aiming for millennium goals South Africa aims to eliminate all mud schools over the next three years and to improve basic safety and functionality of about 3 600 schools by 2014 as part of its contribution to the UN Millennium Development Goals, said President Jabob Zuma during a Parliamentarian session after his State of the Nation address in 2011.The Millennium Development Goal for education is to ensure that, by 2015, the majority of children all over the world are able to access and complete a full course of primary schooling. The government also hopes to increase enrolment rates in secondary schools to 95% by 2014.According to basic education minister Angie Motshekga, concerted efforts on the government’s part has resulted in rises in gross enrolment rates by 20% in primary education and about 15% in secondary education.“In fact, South Africa has almost achieved universal access in primary education,” said Motshekga at a December 2011 meeting on building public-private partnerships in education.Statistics South Africa’s 2010 general household survey found that nationally, 72,8% of persons aged 7 to 24 were attending educational institutions.Steady gains have been made since 2002, yet the number of young people not studying remains unacceptable – most respondents indicated that this was for financial reasons, a situation that the government is addressing. The right to basic education is entrenched in South Africa’s Constitution.Helping children to learnJust in Gauteng alone, almost 900 000 learners are attending the 1 237 no-fee schools, said Creecy. Of these children, over 800 000 also benefit from the government’s nutritional programme.Nationally, Statistics South Africa recorded that the percentage of pupils countrywide who paid no tuition fees increased from 0.7% in 2002 to 54.6% in 2010.To keep up with rising demands, the Gauteng education department’s budget has increased by over 13% from 2010/11 to 2011/12, with R25.9-billion ($3.2-billion) allocated for the current financial year.“Almost 74% of this budget will be spent on salaries for teachers, school administrative staff and office based personnel,” said Creecy.last_img read more

Is the Pretty Good House the Next Big Thing?

first_imgBut then I took a step back and asked the question, Whose Pretty Good House are we talking about here? Since I’m on the training, consulting, and design side of this business, my Pretty Good House would probably look different from the Pretty Good House of someone who’s in the trenches building custom homes. The disparity would be even greater between my Pretty Good Home and that of a production home builder.Since we’re talking about the Pretty Good House—not the Damn Good House—I’m going to take the view that even production builders should be able to achieve it…if they really want to and they work hard to do it. Because it’s voluntary, it should be better than the worst house allowed by law, i.e., the code-built house. With the code getting so much tougher in the 2012 and 2015 IECC versions, that latter objective gets harder and harder to do, but we have to start somewhere. That’s a pretty good startI’m sure I didn’t get everything related to those topics in there that should be there. I’ll post again about this topic and cover the items below that didn’t make it into this already-long article.In Part 2, I’ll cover:Pretty Good Water ConservationPretty Good VerificationPretty Good Homeowner PackagePretty Good PerformanceI’m sure I’ll have some clarifications and refinements based on the comments you’re going to leave me, too, so go ahead and start typing now. The essential elementsTo keep this simple, we need to start with the essentials. I’m a fan of performance goals because they allow the project team to figure out how best to meet the goals, but some of the items are best left as prescriptive (e.g., no atmospheric combustion inside).Pretty Good Design. The Pretty Good House must begin with design. This is where you have to start to make sure that the building envelope, water management systems, and mechanical systems get integrated properly. By the end of the design phase, everyone would know where all the ducts, wires, plumbing pipes, insulation, air barrier, and flashing details are going to go, what materials they’ll use, and when they’re getting done.Design review. All the critical team members review the plan and strive to minimize surprises once construction starts.Complete HVAC design. Before the foundation is built, the HVAC contractor knows what the heating and cooling loads are, which systems (including ventilation) are going in, and all of the distribution details.Projected Home Energy Rating. Along with the HVAC design, a HERS rater works up the preliminary HERS rating. I think the target should be 70 or lower for a Pretty Good House.Pretty Good Building Envelope and Weather Shell. In this part of the Pretty Good House, it’s going to be hard to improve upon the 2012 IECC, so I’d go with their insulation and air-sealing levels. The building envelope also must be complete and continuous, of course. The insulation and air barrier must be in contact with each other and use materials that will stay in contact with each other for the life of the assemblies (i.e.,no batt insulation in framed floors).Other envelope and shell goodies:Blower Door testing. 0.25 cfm per square foot of building envelope (or 3 air changes per hour, if you must) at 50 Pascals. Joe Lstiburek says this is a pretty good air leakage threshold for homes.Grade I insulation installation. No exceptions. It’s got to be done right. ENERGY STAR may have backed off of this a bit since I wrote about it earlier, but that doesn’t mean we should.Reduced thermal bridging. Foam board or rigid mineral wool on the outside, structural insulated panels, insulated concrete forms, double wall construction, Mooney Walls, or some other method that would produce a nice, uniform color when someone looks at the house with a thermal imaging camera.No big or medium holes in air barrier or insulation. The Blower Door test will catch the air barrier holes. Thermal imaging and third-party inspections will catch the insulation holes. Some places to watch out for are attic access holes, slab perimeters (must be insulated for CZ 3), and ceiling insulation above exterior walls.Pretty Good Water management. I like ENERGY STAR’s approach here. Create a checklist that the home builder is responsible for completing. The rater collects it, but the builder is the one who signs it and is responsible if something goes wrong.I’m thinking that the shift in the IECC from R-values to U-values, as Wes Riley pointed out in the second Pretty Good House article by Michael Maines, can lead to better ways to view the house. In fact, since size matters so much, let’s go even further and look at levels of performance based on the UA values, with a table showing the acceptable numbers for each climate zone. That would complete the transition from materials to assemblies to enclosures. I also like the Passive House approach regarding thermal bridging.Pretty Good Mechanical Systems. As I said above, each Pretty Good House would get complete HVAC design up front. I’d also want:> 1000 square feet per ton of air conditioning capacity. This is my rule of thumb, and I think it would be a nice way to make it easy to check. If it were my house, I’d want no less than 2000 sf/ton, but remember, this is the Pretty Good House, and that’s a pretty good benchmark.All distribution inside the envelope. No ducts in attics especially. Crawl spaces get encapsulated. With good design, doing this isn’t a problem.No atmospheric combustion. If it’s not electric (e.g., heat pump), it’s got to be sealed combustion. Period. You can’t call it a pretty good house otherwise. If you’re in a hot climate where sealed combustion heating equipment is too expensive, I’d say combustion equipment doesn’t make sense. Use a heat pump. They’re actually good for more climates than you might think, especially when combined with a hydronic coil for supplemental heat.Mechanical ventilation. Since the house is going to be tight, it must have a mechanical ventilation system. It will be able to meet the ASHRAE 62.2 requirements with a controller that allows the homeowner to dial it back when necessary. I love the Pretty Good House concept! The folks up in Maine who’ve been developing this idea in their monthly green building discussion group (Steve’s Garage) have struck a chord with a lot of us who design, build, or verify green homes. The growing complexity and expense of green building and energy programs has led to growing frustration. Wouldn’t it be great if we could list just a handful of measures that a home builder has to achieve to build a Pretty Good House?Especially since ENERGY STAR Version 3 started kicking in last year, I’ve been thinking about new ways to achieve good results, and the Pretty Good House idea is a great way to get this going. One way I’ve proposed to simplify HVAC requirements, for example, is with a new benchmark for sizing air conditioning systems. Also, even in the performance path for verification, the prescriptive requirements have become a burden. So where can we take this idea?center_img Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a RESNET-accredited energy consultant, trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard blog. What’s the question again?Even after just seeing the title of the first Pretty Good House article, I started thinking about what a Pretty Good House might look like. Since I’m in International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) Climate Zone 3, my thoughts naturally gravitated to elements that would work well in our mixed-humid climate. I began imagining lists of building envelope details, HVAC system specifications, distribution system requirements, mechanical ventilation, ceiling fans… RELATED ARTICLES The Pretty Good HouseThe Pretty Good House, Part 2Martin’s Pretty Good House ManifestoThe Pretty Good House: A Better Building Standard?Regional Variations on the ‘Pretty Good House’Is the Pretty Good House the Next Big Thing? Part 2Green Building for Beginnerslast_img read more

Marcelo: Real Madrid feel like we’re sinking

first_imgPrimera División Marcelo: Real Madrid feel like we’re sinking Stephen Crawford 23:03 1/14/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(4) Marcelo, Real Madrid Getty Primera División Real Madrid Real Madrid v Villarreal Villarreal The Liga champions sit 16 points behind leaders Barcelona, with no upturn in fortunes in sight for the capital club Real Madrid defender Marcelo has said that the players feel like they are “sinking” as the club were subjected to yet another poor result at the weekend, a 1-0 loss to Villarreal.The aptly nicknamed Yellow Submarine snatched all three points on Saturday through a late strike from Pablo Fornals, moving Javi Calleja’s side to just one point behind Los Blancos courtesy of their first ever win at the Santiago Bernabeu.It was not for a lack of trying on Madrid’s part, however, with the hosts having registered 28 shots – a record for a Liga side this season – while Cristiano Ronaldo had a free-kick turned onto the woodwork. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Left-back Marcelo was left understandably frustrated with the result, which leaves his side 16 points adrift of Liga leaders Barcelona, telling reporters after the game: “It’s one of the worst situations I’ve experienced here.“We’re trying to play good football, move the ball around and score goals, but it’s not coming off.“It’s how it looks from the outside – we’re sad, angry and we feel like we’re sinking.”Marcelo and ZidaneUnder-fire boss Zinedine Zidane was also at a loss for words after originally describing the situation as “f***** up”, insisting that he had no explanation as to why the Spanish champions could not find the net.“We don’t deserve this, we think we played well but the ball just didn’t want to go in for us. I can’t explain why,” the Frenchman said.“It was a hammer blow but we are going to turn things around on Thursday [against Leganes in the Copa del Rey].“It might be a mental aspect that is stopping us from winning. When we are on a bad run there are always negatives to pick up on.“We shot on target but didn’t score, when there were rebounds we were not on the end of them. This can wear you down mentally.“We did everything possible to win and I honestly cannot reproach my players for their actions. I am not happy but nor do I feel beaten.”last_img read more

a month agoAC Milan director Maldini jumps to defence of coach Giampaolo

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say AC Milan director Maldini jumps to defence of coach Giampaoloby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveAC Milan director Paolo Maldini has lept to the defence of coach Marco Giampaolo after defeat to Fiorentina.The Rossonero were thumped 3-1 at home on Sunday.“We chose the Coach, we will defend him, it is right to give him some time. We knew there were some problems that we’d run into, although obviously we didn’t expect to lose four of the first six games, but also the quality of the football is unsatisfactory,” Maldini told Sky Sport Italia.“Right now, it might look like a tunnel with no light, but as our Coach said, the way out is with hard work. We knew that relying on a young squad, during the period when we are waiting for the Coach to really become a leadership figure, there could be a risk of the pressure getting to them.“Of course, it is the fault of the players, the club, the Coach, everyone. Last season, we finished one point off the Champions League places and they always supported us.“I think the fans were right this evening to protest. The responsibility is to be shared around, otherwise it becomes too much of a burden to bear.“We are only six rounds in, all is not lost. We know that in football, situations can turn rapidly. The worrying thing is that we saw such a downturn in performance from the Torino game on Thursday.“It’s strange, because we played very well during pre-season and showed good organisation. There started to be some traffic in the central area of the field, causing some tactical problems and difficulty in moving the ball around.” last_img read more

During Slow Offseasons The Brewers Keep Finding Deals

The Milwaukee Brewers took advantage of an ice-cold hot-stove season last winter to become the rare team to win in the offseason and in the regular season. By agreeing Wednesday night with free-agent catcher Yasmani Grandal on a one-year, $18.25 million deal, the Brewers again took advantage of an opportunity to find tremendous value. As most teams zig in another slow offseason, the Brewers, again, zag.While Grandal didn’t have a great postseason with the Dodgers last fall, he was one of the best players available on the free-agent market. According to the Baseball Prospectus version of wins above replacement, which includes a catcher’s pitch-framing ability, Grandal was the 14th most valuable position player in baseball last season (5.0 WAR) and the eighth most valuable player per plate appearance (5.8 WAR per 600 plate appearances) among qualified hitters.That was not a fluke.In terms of total value, Grandal was the No. 1 position player by WAR per plate appearance in 2016 (8.7 WAR per 600 plate appearances), and he ranked seventh in 2017. Over the past four seasons, he was worth 21.2 total WAR. That’s star-level production. He turned 30 in November, so he’s not ancient in baseball terms. But despite all this going for him, Grandal settled for a one-year deal.The switch-hitter offers rare power and patience at the catcher position. Over the past four seasons, his walk rate of 12.8 percent ranks 19th among all MLB batters. His .453 slugging mark ranks third among all qualified catchers, and his 116 weighted runs created plus, a measure of offensive ability that adjusts for park and run-scoring environments,1100 is league average. trails only Gary Sanchez and Buster Posey.Not only is Grandal’s offense rare at his position, but his ability to frame pitches — to get more borderline pitches called favorably — gives him tremendous value at the plate and behind it.Grandal led all catchers in framing runs last season (15.7 runs saved above average). He ranked fourth in 2017 and second in 2016. Even as catchers as a group have improved their ability to receive or frame pitches, raising the floor of the skill, Grandal has maintained his edge. By runs saved, framing is more valuable than blocking balls in the dirt, an area in which Grandal is not as adept.Consider the following visual evidence of Grandal’s magic behind the plate last season. As a Clayton Kershaw slider darted slightly outside the strike zone, Grandal’s glove moved it back to within the confines of the zone. A pitch that should have been called a ball then appeared to be a strike.Grandal managed to softly absorb this high-and-away Kershaw fastball and make it appear to finish as a strike. It’s a subtle but valuable skill.Grandal was attached to a qualifying offer, meaning that the team signing him would have to surrender draft-pick compensation. As a revenue-sharing recipient, the Brewers will surrender their third-highest pick in the draft. The qualifying offer slightly diminished Grandal’s value, but qualifying offers are far from the only — and far from the greatest — issue conspiring against free agents. Even after last winter’s lack of free-agent activity, Grandal likely expected that he would be able to do much better than the deal he got. He not only turned down the Los Angeles Dodgers’ qualifying offer earlier in the offseason, but he also reportedly rejected a four-year, $60 million offer from the New York Mets.Instead, Grandal becomes the latest free agent to receive far fewer dollars and years than he had initially sought.The average salary in baseball declined last year for just the fourth time in the past 50 years and the first time since 2004, according to the Associated Press.Through Wednesday, the 73rd day of this offseason, 10.2 percent of available free agents2Our pool of available free agents includes any player with major league experience who was granted free agency or released in October and November of each season. That excludes players signed internationally or those waived by a club before the season ended or later in the offseason. had signed for a total of $856.2 million, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis of data from The Baseball Cube. While that’s an improvement over the same point of last offseason, when only 6.5 percent of free agents had signed for $550.5 million, the total dollars spent to date are still down from 2016-17 ($1.017 billion through Day 73), 2015-16 ($1.697 billion), 2014-15 ($1.308 billion) and 2013-14 ($1.452 billion).And the share of free agents signed is trending above the past two offseasons, but it’s still trailing the previous three: As the free agency landscape changes, some teams seem to be looking for openings to give them an edge. Grandal has been the Brewers’ only guaranteed free-agent signing so far,3They have also reportedly agreed to a split deal with pitcher Jake Petricka, meaning that the contract would depend on whether he makes the big-league club. but it’s a significant addition in their quest to repeat as National League Central champs.Sara Ziegler contributed research. read more

Werder Bremen now with more European Klaassen

first_imgMidfielder Davy Klaassen has joined the Bundesliga team and believes he can do a good job in the German tournamentAfter spending six years in Netherland’s Ajax, and one with English Premier League side Everton, Davy Klassen has joined Werder Bremen.The midfielder has already debuted in the German Bundesliga and is looking to bring a new way of play to the team.“He told me that he really wanted me and how he saw me in the team,” the midfielder told the Bundesliga official website.Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.“After that talk, I was convinced to go here because I can show myself and get the best out of myself here.”“The goal is to reach European football this season. No one wants to play for 12th or 13th.”And when asked about his compatriot Arjen Robben, he was clear to say he is “my favorite player. He’s still so good, the best player I’ve played with. On the pitch a winner, an easy guy off it.”last_img read more

Sunday Noon Update Hot Dry Weather Continues To Challenge Swan Lake Fire

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Swan Lake fire is currently estimated at 95,047 acres with roughly 409 crew members and remains at 14% containment. Hot, dry weather is challenging fire personnel in all areas of the fire, according to a release from the Incident Management team. For the AM update and additional details click here. Campfires are restricted to enclosed fire rings/grates within designated campgrounds/cabins within the Kenai NWR, Kenai Fjords NP, Kenai Peninsula State Parks and Chugach NF lands on the Kenai Peninsula. The release states, the east flank continues to move up slope and into higher elevations along the mountain ridge line. As elevation changes, so does the vegetation available to burn. This change is expected to reduce opportunities for fire to move above ground level resulting in slower fire spread and lower intensity burning. Crews are working to improve the Skyline Trail to create a fuel break along the southeast corner of the fire to prevent fire spread along the highway. Helicopters will continue to utilize water drops to cool the fire areas producing heat north of Upper Jean Lake.The containment line north of the Homer Electric transmission line is holding well as small areas of interior vegetation burn, further increasing the depth of the fuel break created to protect the community of Sterling and the Sterling Highway.last_img read more