NewsHour Extra Feature Stories
NewsHour Extra features stories can help students identify and interpret
key issues in current events. This activity anticipates one class period,
but the follow-up essay might be assigned as homework, or in another period.
Warm Up: Use initiating
questions to introduce the topic and find out how much your students know.
Main Activity: Have
students read NewsHour Extra's feature story and answer the questions
on the reading comprehension handout.
Discussion: Use discussion
questions to encourage students to think about how the issues outlined
in the story affect their lives and express and debate different opinions.
can write an 500-word editorial on the topic expressing their views and
send it to NewsHour Extra [firstname.lastname@example.org]
for possible publication.
are graded on their answers to reading comprehension questions and/or
Story: Ten Years After Apartheid,
South African Voters Face Jobs, AIDS Issues:
1. What do you know about South
2. What is apartheid?
Reading Comprehension Questions:
(click here for printout)
1. What is happening in South
On Thursday, South Africans
will head to the polls to vote in the country's third democratic election
since its independence ten years ago. The African National Congress,
or ANC, South Africa's ruling party, is expected to remain in power.
2. What is significant about
the South African election?
The election coincides
with nationwide celebrations of the tenth anniversary of the end of
apartheid -- the policy of racial segregation enforced by South Africa's
white minority government from 1948-1994.
3. What are some of the positive
changes in South Africa since the end of apartheid? What are some of the
continuing challenges in the African nation?
For South Africa, a decade
of self-rule has brought innumerable changes to the country, including
a complete overhaul of government services, a democratic constitution
grounded in human rights, and free press including newspapers, radio
and television stations.
But the legacy of apartheid
has not yet been obliterated in a country where half the population
still lives below poverty level and where wealth remains divided along
The last ten years have
brought vast improvements in housing, water and electricity, as well
as political stability and international support, but South Africa is
still, as Mbeki observed, a country of "two nations" -- one
mostly white and rich, and one mostly black and poor. In addition, South
Africa faces massive unemployment, rising crime, and -- especially devastating
-- one of the highest rates of HIV in the world.
4. Who is the leader of the
main opposition party in the South Africa Parliament? What are his challenges
in the election?
But critics like Tony
Leon, who heads the Democratic Alliance, the main opposition party in
the South African Parliament, says that the ANC has done too little
to help the South African people improve their situation.
Leon will most likely
earn the majority of white voters' support, but since whites only make
up 13 percent of South Africa's population, the real task for the DA
is to win over the support of black voters.
5. What impact has AIDS had
on the country?
Of particular concern
is the response to the devastating toll HIV and AIDS is taking on the
country. Mbeki raised a storm of international controversy several years
ago by publicly expressing doubt about whether HIV causes AIDS (it does).
are still widely unavailable to the 20 percent of the adult population
that is HIV-positive, despite an ambitious government plan rolled out
Estimates for the next
ten years put the death toll from AIDS-related diseases in South Africa
as high as 6 million.
Discussion Questions (more
research might be needed):
1. Why do you think there are still so many problems in South Africa
even though apartheid officially ended ten years ago?
2. If you were president of South Africa, what would you do to help alleviate
poverty and the effects of AIDS?
3. Should people in the United States pay attention to what is happening
in South Africa? Why or why not?
Send your answers, in essay
form, to email@example.com for