first_imgThe Earagail Arts Festival have officially launched a jam-packed, fun-filled festival programme at An Grianan Theatre in Letterkenny today. Now in its 26th year, the festival is a two week celebration of music, theatre, visual arts, film, literature, circus and carnival.Taking place from Saturday, 12th – 26th July, Earagail Arts Festival is one of the flagship Donegal events along the Wild Atlantic Way. This year’s festival has something for everyone, from family and outdoor events to theatre, comedy, art, workshops and music from all corners of the world.The launch was attended by a host of special guests and friends of the festival and included a range of performances by local musicians and artists.The festival’s centre-piece production is ‘Fiesta’, a new play celebrating one of the finest dance halls in Ireland. Running from Saturday 12th to Monday 14th July, ‘Fiesta’ is a not-to-be-missed celebration of the music, memories and stories that made the Fiesta Ballroom in Letterkenny so unique.Other highlights of the festival programme include ‘I Do’, ‘Bombino’, ‘Melting Pod Finale, ‘Imaginarium’ and ‘The Drive-In.’ Donegal County Manager, Mr. Seamus Neely said, “I am delighted to welcome this 26th edition of the Earagail Arts Festival, which continues to act as an annual high profile focus in the county for the very best of contemporary and traditional, local and visiting Irish and international arts.“This year’s festival has benefited from the input of a rich vein of artistic partners which together showcase the vibrancy, resilience, depth of imagination and community focus that characterises the cultural sector in the county today.Adding to this, Úna Mc Carthy, Head of Festivals & Events, Arts Council of Ireland said, “The Earagail Arts Festival exudes a strong sense of place and identity and continues to deliver a high quality programme which reaches audiences in strategic and surprising ways.Festival Director, Paul Brown said, “Earagail Arts Festival is synonymous with award-winning, ground-breaking international and national music, theatre and visual arts.“The 2014 programme presents new drama that explores the changing patterns of social history in rural Ireland; new site specific theatre, street arts and spectacle; specially commissioned exposés of native spoken word and a host of international music collaborations that bring together local and international players from as far afield as Japan, Egypt, Spain and the United States. “This year we’re inviting everyone to come along and immerse themselves in the real culture of Donegal.Joan Crawford, Client Services Manager, Fáilte Ireland said, “Fáilte Ireland is delighted to again support the Earagail Arts Festival as the flagship cultural event in Donegal with appeal to visitors from all over the world.“The festival achieved significant global recognition with its Homecoming Gathering event in 2013 which leaves it well positioned to grow international bednights for 2014.”Hosting a vibrant and varied programme throughout Inishowen, Letterkenny and west Donegal, Earagail Arts Festival features the best of local and international performances. Pick up a copy of the programme today and start planning your summer of festival fun. For full details on the Earagail Arts programme visit www.eaf.ieEaragail Arts Festival is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Donegal County Council.EARAGAIL ARTS FESTIVAL OFFICIALLY LAUNCH 2014 BROCHURE was last modified: June 4th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BusinessEntertainmentFeaturesnewslast_img read more

Eskom secures R2.8bn Medupi loan

first_img11 September 2008 “The export credit financing loan is payable over 12 years after the commissioning of the units at Medupi power station,” Eskom said. “Eskom is expected to make draw down from this facility from the beginning of the new calendar year.” Eskom said in a statement this week that the loan would be used to partially finance the six boilers that the Hitachi Power consortium will supply for the construction of the new Medupi coal-fired power station, being built near Lephalale in Limpopo province. Eskom recently began construction on the Kusile coal-fired power station near Witbank in Mpumalanga province, while work on Medupi began in April. The first of Medupi’s six generating units will be commissioned by early 2011, with the last unit scheduled for commissioning by January 2015. The first of Kusile’s six generating units is scheduled for completion by 2013, followed by the completion on an additional unit after every eight months. Eskom has also called for statements of qualification from local and international companies interested in investing in South Africa as independent power producers. KfW-IPEX and financial services group HSBC jointly arranged the export finance cover from the German federal government-backed export credit agency Hermes.center_img SAinfo reporter Speaking at the signing ceremony, Nqwababa said that Eskom’s partnership with KfW-IPEX was important in ensuring that Eskom continued to secure and stabilise South Africa’s power systems. The signing of the loan agreement with KfW-IPEX, which took place at Eskom’s headquarters in Johannesburg, was attended by Eskom finance director Bongani Nqwababa and KfW-IPEX first vice-president Peter Purkl. South African state electricity company Eskom has secured a €250-million (about R2.8-billion) export credit financing loan from Germany’s KfW-IPEX to fund part of its capital expenditure activities. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

E-manuals brighten South African classrooms

first_imgWith a tap, click or swipe across the screen children can access embedded videos, high quality photographs, maps, animations and pop-up boxes. A pupil shows how it is done. At the launch school children were ready to demonstrate how the technology works. Maramedia has adapted its printed manuals into colourful fully interactive digital manuals for tablet devices.(Images: Wilma den Hartigh) MEDIA CONTACTS • Daniella Hess   Grapevine Communications  +27 11 706 9600 RELATED ARTICLES • Digital drum boosts computer literacy • Education goes mobile with Vodacom • Mandela archive goes live • eBook focus at Cape Town Book Fair Wilma den HartighA South African publishing company has launched a new digital education tool that is transforming the classroom, inspiring a love for learning and improving academic performance by making education fun and interactive.Maramedia Publishing’s interactive digital manuals are a first for South Africa and are changing the way children experience education.The Johannesburg-based publishing company has until now produced printed manuals for children and teachers. The manuals, which comply with the Department of Basic Education’s curriculum policy statement, are a combination of textbooks, study guides and workbooks to supplement learning in the classroom.In keeping with modern technological trends, Maramedia has adapted their manuals into colourful fully interactive digital manuals (IDMs) for tablet devices.Advancing educationFormer South African president Nelson Mandela was once quoted saying that “education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”, and Maramedia’s digital offering introduces a new way to address Madiba’s wish for all South Africans to receive a good education.Speaking at the launch event at Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia on Nelson Mandela International Day, Maramedia CEO Gideon van Niekerk said the interactive and multimedia component of the IDM devices has become an essential learning tool.“The devices inspire pupils to be more adventurous in their work, bringing learning to life,” van Niekerk says.Browsing a digital manual is visually similar to turning the pages of a book, but because these books are digital children use taps, clicks or swipes across the screen to access embedded videos, high quality photographs, maps, animations and pop-up boxes.Unlike traditional textbooks, the manuals have been designed in full colour, which helps children to retain more information.Maramedia’s digital content has also received the stamp of approval of Google SA’s new media specialist, Brett St Clair. “The Maramedia content is one of the most advanced rich media experiences I have seen on smart devices,” St Clair said. “At Google we are incredibly excited about this type of content.”Going digital and changing education trendsMaramedia’s director of research and development, Deon Kotzé, said although printed material continues to be an important learning tool, children of today need an active learning environment.Today’s children are constantly engaging with social media such as Twitter, Facebook and instant messaging, and bringing modern technology into the classroom can only enhance learning.“It can inspire children to become lifelong learners and not just be passive recipients of knowledge,” Kotzé says.The layout is highly visual and every topic has review questions at the end of each section to test pupils’ level of understanding. Class activities and worksheets are also included.The facts are brought to life with photo galleries, animated diagrams and pop-up boxes with additional information on just about every page.“Research shows that real comprehension takes place through visual representation and interaction with content,” explains Kotzé. “If you don’t engage pupils and make them participants, you lose them.”Van Niekerk says introducing technology into education is important. “In the past 20 years, the education sector in South Africa has seen the least improvement and advancement compared to other sectors such as mining, banking or industry,” he says.The nuts and boltsThe content of the digital manuals can be downloaded on Android- and Apple-enabled tablets, or obtained on pre-loaded external memory cards.A major benefit is that the IDM doesn’t require internet or WiFi access to view the content.“Not everyone has internet access,” van Niekerk says, but despite this offline functionality, many users can still access the Internet to explore beyond what is covered in class by doing additional searches for information.One of the perceived drawbacks of the new initiative is the cost of tablets, but according to Maramedia, even the most well-known tablet brands have become more affordable of late.Another option is for teachers to use the tablets to project content onto whiteboards or smart boards in the classroom, while children use printed workbooks.This is one way for resource-poor schools to benefit from the new technology, as the digital content is similar to that of printed manuals, and could also prove to be more cost effective than printed books. Pupils will have fewer books to carry, too.The content is current and tackles issues such as renewable energy, global warming and the tsunami in Japan – everything that pupils would have heard about in the news. The content has been compiled from many sources and is constantly updated in keeping with curriculum changes.Benefits for teachersThe manuals aren’t just about making learning fun for children. The interactive component offers teachers many explanations, animations and 3D graphics to explain abstract concepts.This means teachers can spend more time teaching as they no longer have to spend hours trawling through many different resources to add to their lesson plans.“They will have more time to devote to engaging with their pupils, moulding their knowledge and focusing on personal interaction,” Kotzé said at the launch.last_img read more

Turning students into entrepreneurs

first_img7 October 2013Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Elizabeth Thabethe on Friday launched a new Centre for Entrepreneurship at the King Hintsa FET College for Agriculture in Butterworth, Eastern Cape.The centre forms part of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI’s) programme to establish platforms at FET colleges around the country to develop local entrepreneurs capable of going on to establish viable, competitive businesses.“Attempts have been made in recent years to provide entrepreneurship development support in a more coherent and comprehensive way,” Thabethe said at Friday’s launch.“It is particularly in the light of the catalyst role it plays that the centre can develop local communities,” Thabethe said, adding that the centre would serve as a hub for information and training in the area.Seed funding of R3-million was allocated for setting up the first phase of the centre, and the DTI would be partnering with the University of Johannesburg to provide capacity building training for lecturers.“Once all systems have been set up, we will move into the second phase, which will involve training,” Thabethe said. “We are going to be linking with an incubation programme to support potential entrepreneurs, and we will also link them with the Small Enterprise Development Agency for training.”Director Jomo Jacobs said the centre will be a valuable addition to the King Hintsa FET College for Agriculture’s strong agro-processing curriculum.“The practical studies that we will be offering will go a long way in addressing the skills shortage and lack of work experience that sees most of our unemployed and graduates struggle to secure jobs,” Jacobs said. “We pledge to grow this centre into a pioneer institution in agro-processing studies.’Thabethe said that, in order to foster entrepreneurship among students, it was crucial to promote business formation as a realistic and profitable option.“It is against this backdrop that efforts are being made to address entrepreneurship development and ensure that education is driven in such a way that business ventures become a choice rather than a last resort for students.”Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Updates from Ohio Farm Bureau’s 100th Annual Meeting

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest  Leave a CommentFriday, Dec. 7:OFBF President Frank Burkett III and Executive Vice President Adam Sharp presented the membership and county awards at the Delegate Lunch Dec. 7.Ohio Farm Bureau Board of Trustee elections were held early on the last day of the OFBF 100th Annual Meeting. Two new trustees were elected, along with several trustees who were re-elected to their current positions.President Frank Burkett III, Vice President Bill Patterson and Treasurer Cy Prettyman were all re-elected to their officer positions on the board. State and national policy was discussed and voted upon during the general sessions. Several membership awards and county achievement awards were announced during the annual Delegate Lunch, where Executive Vice President Adam Sharp addressed the assembled attendees at the annual meeting.In a heartfelt speech, Sharp said he was “humbled and proud” to serve OFBF at this moment in its history.Watch the presentations and Adam’s address:Later tonight attendees will participate in the Centennial Celebration and a member-only concert by country star Chase Bryant at the Greater Columbus Convention Center to cap off the kickoff to Ohio Farm Bureau’s 100th year.Thursday, Dec. 6:All attendees to the 100th Annual Meeting paused for a centennial photo this afternoon.A warm welcome to all who came to cold Columbus today for the kickoff of the 100th annual meeting.A historic display that takes visitors through the history of Farm Bureau opened early as members and delegates alike converged steadily on the Greater Columbus Convention Center throughout the morning. A historical presentation by Steve Hausfeld through the Nationwide Archive and two rounds of Discussion Meet kept visitors busy, as did the popular Centennial Store selling special 100th anniversary merchandise.The Kickoff Lunch included remarks from Nationwide CEO Steve Rasmussen and Tim Corcoran, chairman of the Nationwide Board of Directors, as well as Patricia Wolff, senior director of congressional relations for American Farm Bureau.Young Ag Professionals winners Annie Specht (Discussion Meet), Nick and Brandi Anderson (Outstanding Young Farmers) and Adam and Jess Campbell (Excellence in Agriculture) accepted their awards. Distinguished Service Award winners – Dennis Heyob, Charles Lausin, Al DiVencenzo and James Bachmann – were also recognized.Opening Ceremonies and the General Session commenced in the afternoon as the business of the event started in earnest, after a brief group photo (above) and ice cream break the General Session continued. Tonight’s event includes the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation’s Night Out.Previously posted:Ohio Farm Bureau kicks of its 100th year, and annual meeting, today in Columbus. The centennial event’s theme is Celebrating our Past, Creating our Future.  Nearly 3,000 Farm Bureau members are expected to attend the meeting and a special centennial celebration concert on Friday. A historical museum and all convention activities surrounding the 100th year of Ohio Farm Bureau will be held at the Hilton Columbus Downtown and Greater Columbus Convention Center.Keynote speakers include OFBF President Frank Burkett III, OFBF Executive Vice President Adam Sharp, Nationwide CEO Steve Rasmussen and Nationwide board chairman Tim Corcoran.  Follow the event on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using hashtag #OFBF100years.  Leave a Commentlast_img read more

Ten cases dropped due to delays in military justice system auditor

first_imgOTTAWA – The federal auditor general fired a rocket at Canada’s military justice system Tuesday, citing a failure to deal with persistent and unnecessary delays as the reason several serious cases have had to be abandoned in recent years.Michael Ferguson assigned blame to all involved for the glacial pace with which military justice is dispensed, including military police, prosecutors, commanding officers and the Judge Advocate General.Among the problems: lengthy investigations; delays in deciding whether to lay charges; overly long periods of time setting up courts martial; and even issues with regards to letting accused service personnel access defence lawyers.As a result, 10 court-martial cases have been dropped since January 2016 because they didn’t move along fast enough, Ferguson revealed, including one that was already underway and involved a charge of assault causing bodily harm.“Delays run counter to the principle that an accused has the right to a speedy trial,” Ferguson told a news conference after his spring report was tabled in Parliament. “They also leave victims and their families waiting for answers.”The Canadian Forces has known about the problems “for at least a decade,” the auditor added, “but has failed to correct them.”The military has been working to stamp out sexual misconduct in the ranks after some victims complained that their cases were not being properly handled.Tuesday’s report comes only a few weeks after the Trudeau government unveiled proposed legislation designed to streamline parts of the military justice system while better supporting the rights of victims, a bill Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan highlighted on Tuesday.“The auditor general’s recommendations will greatly assist us in ensuring that the military justice system continues to serve the best interests of Canadians and the armed forces,” Sajjan said.“There have been unacceptable delays in the military justice system and we have already started to make improvements.”The Defence Department also said it was introducing a new computer system to better track cases and ensure they don’t suffer from lengthy delays. It is expected to be up and running in September 2019.But Ferguson repeatedly lamented what has become a pattern in which ministers and departments say all the right things in response to his reports by agreeing with his findings and promising to address them, only to have them come up again later.“There were a number of studies done over the last 10 years indicating that the Canadian Armed Forces need to improve the military justice system,” he said.“I don’t think there ever is a good explanation for why recommendations like that are not followed up.”In most of the cases reviewed by Ferguson and his staff, officials involved did not provide any justification for the time taken, even though it often exceeded established standards.The average case that did go to court martial ended up taking 17.7 months from the time charges were laid, the auditor general’s report said — just inside the 18-month limit set by the Supreme Court for most cases in 2016.That limit applies to military tribunals as well.Better communication between the different parts of the military justice system and case management from the top is what’s called for, Ferguson said, adding that a comprehensive review of the system is long overdue.The Judge Advocate General, which acts as superintendent of the military justice system, did conduct a partial review last year in which some senior commanders voiced their own frustration with system, including how slowly it operates.But both the JAG and Ferguson said there were problems with the way that review was conducted.last_img read more