Friday, March 10, 2006

A new beginning

Following the successful launch of the NISL DM Masters programme at the University of the Free State it is now time to start learning! But first the background:

The South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) has provided grant funding over a period of three years to train 16 students in disaster management through a Masters Programme at the University of the Free State (UFS). The Early Warning Systems and Disaster Management programme, initiated in September 2005, is a joint initiative between the DST, the CSIR, the UFS and the Department of Provincial and Local Government (DPLG).
This programme aims to:

  • Highlight good practice in early warning systems
  • Assist in developing contingency plans in order to mitigate the impact of disasters and to enable a more proactive approach
  • Develop capacity in municipalities towards the implementation of the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002.

The Masters programme includes an experiential learning component wherein students will be placed at the DPLG, other government departments and the CSIR. This will enhance the experience and employability of participating students.

The purpose of this project is to build critical capacity in information analysis through experiential training for unemployed graduates in particular. It forms part of government’s priority towards bridging the digital divide and ensuring that South Africa becomes part of the global information society by enhancing the country’s technology-based skills. The project is also in line with the aims of the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative of South Africa towards the reduction of unemployment levels, as outlined by President Mbeki in his 2006 State of the Nation Address.
Some of the students selected for the UFS Masters Programme in Early Warning Systems and Disaster Management


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