March 2016 Second Week Round Up

By Kiran Gandhi

 “I know police tend to view violence on campus as a responsibility they have because they identify and define that as criminal activity. But I think we need to act cautiously.”

If you were to guess the context for this quote, the recent JNU row in India would be the guess of most. This is actually by Yvonne Mokgoro, the former Constitutional Court Justice of South Africa about the recent protests in college campuses there.

In a week that saw the JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) student leader Kanhaiya Kumar become a political leader overnight (thanks to his oratory skills), in South Africa the remnants of the various unrests (against language policy, outsourcing etc.) is yet to settle down fully. It is in this background that Yvonne Mokgoro has announced the launch of a new body to mediate between students and management to soothe the tensions in universities. The body named ‘Access Thuto’ will be established in collaboration with the Nelson Mandela and Ahmed Kathrada foundations, according to the City Press.

A few rowdy elements is holding the university to ransom is the view of the majority students from Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in South Africa, as the university’s north and south campuses in Soshanguve( a township 25 kms from Pretoria) will remain closed for a month.  As per The Times, financial exclusion is the raging issue here as some students were barred from attending the classes for failure to pay the fees.

Physical education and sports in campus found renewed interest from different quarters this week. Liu Xiang, former ace hurdler from China called for placing more importance on physical fitness to address student’s declining fitness. The physical test results for college and secondary school students from the national fitness survey by General Administration of Sport of China and Ministry of Education corroborate this decline in fitness. According to the China Daily, Basketball star Yao Ming proposed more sports activities in the curriculum. Similar sentiment was expressed by Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) College’s rector Halima Bewel when she urged students to engage in sporting activities for its health benefits. India too contributed to this debate, though not in the ideal fashion. The 50th Annual Athletics Meet of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), which used to be a mega event in its heyday failed to garner much interest from the audience and the stands often wore a deserted look, according to the Tribune.

It wasn’t trouble that was brewing this time in Delhi University as the students faced off in a culinary competition. The competition titled ‘University Chef ‘was organised by ShyamLal College and hosted many colleges from the Delhi University, the Hindustan Times (Gurgaon) reported.

As the National Breakfast Week falls this week (March7-11) (Yes it’s a thing and more and more schools are using the occasion to address the issue of students missing their breakfast), the Orange County Public School in Florida is trying innovative methods to connect youngsters to healthy meal on campus. Nancy Robinson in her article on the Orlando Sentinel talks about strategies like Grab ‘n’ Go carts where children can pick up quick breakfast items (nutritious of course) from carts as they reach school.

And the bizarre news of the week comes from Vermont, US as the Middlebury College there banned energy drinks in its campus. And the reason – It promotes risky sexual behaviour (according to report by The Star (Jamaica)).

About the Author

 I-1936 Kiran-1Kiran Gandhi

Kiran Gandhi hails from the state of Kerala in India. He is currently pursuing Post Graduate diploma in Print Journalism from the Institute of Journalism, Trivandrum .He has a degree in Engineering from the Cochin University of Science & Technology.