Publication by Mukhanyo Lecturers
No fewer than nine lecturers from with Mukhanyo family (past and present) contributed to a book published a few weeks ago, Reformed Mission in Southern Africa: The Way Forward”. Their contributions form part of Mukhanyo’s engagement with the latest thinking on mission in Africa.
In Mukhanyo’s five libraries with roughly around 30 000 titles, the first collection audit was completed during the winter of 2021. Wasn’t it an adventure! And the year 2022 promises to be even more exciting.
Tienie de Klerk, Mukhanyo’s librarian, reports that inventory control – or, as it is called at the Mukhanyo libraries, “collection audit” – is a common procedure within the general library context. It might happen wholly, or in part, to a library’s collection when the status of the collection is placed under the magnifying glass. The aim is mainly replacement, or deselection, of resources.
Many Reasons to Say THANK YOU
At the end of another great year, this is a good opportunity to look back and see how our Lord has blessed Mukhanyo for over 28 years.
The years were full of activity, ups and downs, but more importantly, years in which our Almighty Father in heaven made it possible to not only survive but to grow the ministry above all expectations. Just read the following.
Award and Conferral Ceremony – A First
Positive Vibes All Over
Student retention and throughput rates are a global phenomenon facing higher education that dates back to the 1960s, and currently remains a critical concern, worldwide. It is a particular concern to stakeholders at tertiary educational institutions, who are continuously concerned about improving the throughput rates of registered students.
The throughput rate at tertiary institutions is defined as the percentage of students who register for a module or course and pass the prescribed examination. It is a predictor of the number of years a student takes to complete the degree/diploma/certificate course for which they are enrolled.
In Africa, there are numerous impediments to the improvement of throughput rates at tertiary institutions. These include broad socio-economic and political issues, sluggish progress in a country's development and the influence of encumbrances such as underdevelopment and poverty, on throughput rates.
Juxtaposed to these impediments are compounding factors such as poor preparation for higher education, lack of commitment among students, unsatisfactory academic experiences, the lack of social integration on campuses, financial and health issues, the lack of support structures, the lack of education among parents and family responsibilities. All of these factors have an impact on low student throughput, often culminating in prolonged study periods or the termination of studies.
These negatives frequently have serious implications for the funding of students' education. Such funding often takes the form of grants allocated, either to institutions or directly to students. In some cases, this funding comes from private donations.
By contrast, Mukhanyo has, in the past few semesters and, despite the impact of the COVID pandemic, achieved an overwhelming throughput rate of around 90%. This has been confirmed across degree/diploma/certificate programmes. What is particularly gratifying is that student performance has been enhanced through Mukhanyo's dedicated teaching and learning support facilities, and the success of the academic and social integration of its students. This has been achieved through the tenacity and dedication of staff and students, in pursuit of Mukhanyo’s goals.
The impressiveness of these achievements, both at the academic, personal and social support services level, augers well – we believe – for the future of its funding support, which Mukhanyo receives both from local and international sources.
We praise God for this phenomenal progress and the tenacity and commitment of all stakeholders to this outstanding achievement.
(written by Prof Patrick Palmer, director on Mukhanyo’s board and chairman of the Education Portfolio committee)
Annual Meeting and Some Updates
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down some ministry matters, Mukhanyo is thankful that most of its activities could continue. Dr Brian DeVries, Principal, stated in Mukhanyo’s annual report that the college is well-positioned by God’s grace for at least the next five years.
At the annual general meeting held virtually on 24 July 2021, Dr DeVries reported that the recent unrest did not affect Mukhanyo’s Durban Advanced Learning Centre or the Johannesburg Campus, the two cities where most of the riots took place.
In addition, on 27 July contact classes at the five centres/campuses started for the second semester, only a week later than originally scheduled and two days after South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, made the re-opening possible by relaxing some restrictions.
According to the 2020 Annual Report, both semesters last year were completed successfully with minor scheduling and procedural changes, although many classes had to take place virtually during the lockdowns. The lecturers were able to spend more time than usual developing teaching material, especially more and better study guides at all levels. In addition, software for student records and learning management was further expanded.
From a financial point of view, things worked out well during 2020. Expenses were cut by 10%, to 2019 levels, during the lockdown to plan reduced donations. Indeed, income from African sources decreased, but income from other sources increased somewhat – something to be thankful for. The result was that total income increased by 2,2% compared to 2019.
For 2021 and beyond, further growth is expected in respect of academic quality and spiritual formation of the students, additional contact students, expansion of student support systems and further material development. Considerable growth is expected in distance student groups of which there are some 85 already – of which more than 10 are outside South Africa.
Did you know . . . ?
Training for Progress
The Bible teaches that Christians must always grow in their faith. There should also be growth in the efficiency of the work they are doing. Therefore, all institutions should continuously keep abreast of new developments and train their staff to make full use of the latest in facilities and equipment. Mukhanyo does this annually and used a whole week in June for staff training.
Monday: Mukhanyo’s library staff were trained on the first day of the week. In the last few years, all five regional centres have built up substantial library collections with thousands of books, as well as the ability to draw academic journals and other information from all over the world. But these facilities need to be optimally managed, which requires capable and well-trained full-time and part-time librarians. The training included advice about motivating and training students to make use of these facilities.
Tuesday: The second day was used to train the staff members involved with the implementation of the new POPI Act about the protection of personal information. In addition, Mukhanyo’s health and safety policy was discussed in detail.
Wednesday: On the third day, all support staff using Outlook and Office received further training. Although most trainees are regular users of this software, the training showed them that the platform has more utilities to enhance optimal usage and to save time, and thus improve efficiencies.
Thursday: The fourth day was used to coach several staff members about basic principles of management. Aspects such as planning, organising, leading and control were discussed in addition to aspects such as team building and co-operation.
Friday: The last day of the staff training week focused on Mukhanyo’s gardeners and cleaners together with staff from the Nakekela Christian Community Centre, a sister ministry with close ties to Mukhanyo that serves the terminally ill. They exchanged ideas and applications came forward with proposals to improve gardens (also vegetable gardens) and cleaning facilities.
It was a week well spent, according to Jan Pelser, Mukhanyo’s Operations Manager.
Support Mukhanyo Online
It's now easy to support Mukhanyo with the new online giving portal. Gifts of any size can now be made from anywhere with online payments by credit card, cheque card, instant EFT, MasterPass, and SnapScan.
Mukhanyo is thankful for its many generous donors! This ministry would not be possible without the regular faithful support of many Christians and churches within South Africa and globally.
Pretoria Obtains Campus Status
Mukhanyo’s Pretoria Centre has been approved for campus status by the Council for Higher Education (CHE) and will be advertised as such once the Department of Higher Education and Training gives final approval. Amanda Nel, the academic compliance manager at Mukhanyo, said this is the end of a very long process, with the CHE campus application being submitted last year. Mukhanyo is very thankful for the fact that it has now been fully approved.
This approval means that Mukhanyo will have three full campuses (KwaMhlanga, Johannesburg and now Pretoria) as well as two advanced learning centres (Durban and Rustenburg). These locations are in addition to some 85 distance learning centres in South Africa and beyond.
What are the advantages of campus status? Firstly, a campus can offer programmes in its own right and is not limited to distance education programmes. Secondly, this enables the college to advertise the Pretoria location as a fully-fledged campus. And thirdly, it means that Pretoria is now officially recognised by the authorities to have all the necessary facilities to function as a campus, such as a proper library, internet facilities, lecturing rooms, etc. While this has been the case already for several years, it has now been officially recognised as such.