UNISA news today – The former Chair of Unisa’s Department of Information Science, Professor Mpho Ngoepe, has been appointed Director of the School of Arts within the College of Human Sciences for a term of three years.
Taking over from Professor Nombeko Mpako, Ngoepe confessed to feeling slightly nervous, yet excited at the same time, and more than ready to take on the responsibilities of the position.
“There are several things I am looking forward to in this position,” he said. “The proclamation by the United Nations of the period 2022 to 2032 as the international decade of indigenous languages gives us an opportunity not to be missed to parachute our languages to uncharted territories. Other departments within the school can also capitalise on this. For example, almost all the departments in the school have a mandate that is aligned to the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture. This is an opportunity. Therefore, no one will be left behind.”
The School of Arts is best placed to drive the agenda for curriculum transformation at university level, especially regarding languages, as it offers all 11 official South African languages as well as others such as French, Mandarin and Portuguese, all of which have a role to play in globalisation. As Ngoepe explains, the school is equipped to play a crucial role in upholding the constitutional provision that everyone has the right to be taught in the official language of their choice.
Born in Limpopo, Ngoepe has an impressive CV. He holds a bachelor’s degree and H DINF, both from the University of Limpopo, and a BINF (Hons), MINF and DLitt et Phil, all from Unisa.
He is a member of the Technical Subcommittee on Encoded Archival Standards (TS-EAS) of the Society of American Archivists, serves on the advisory council of the National Archives of South Africa in his capacity as chair of the Gauteng Provincial Archives, and has also served the Southern Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives as journal editor.
Ngoepe served as director of the African team that participated in InterPARES Trust, a multinational, interdisciplinary research project investigating issues relating to digital records. He has worked inter alia for the United Nations Children’s Fund, the Auditor-General of South Africa, Technikon Northern Gauteng, Bloemfontein Legal Deposit and the National Archives of South Africa.
Ngoepe views the school as an instrument for the implementation of the academic project, and the link between departments and the college. This makes it important to clear bottlenecks related to administrative processes and procedures, as well as academic processes, that hamper the effectiveness of departments in delivering on all their KPAs.
CONGRATULATIONS Professor Ngoepe!