Our world is filled with quotes such as these which inspire us to better our lives, to develop our relationships, to become great leaders, to improve our health, to have greater self-esteem, and to love ourselves and others.
2013!! The New Year comes around and traditionally people make all sorts of New Year Resolutions. Over the years I have seen both my effort and commitment to resolutions change greatly. At first I tried to achieve my resolutions through enormous effort and striving, only to find that the very striving itself increased my problems. I then become more judgemental, acting out the same old patterns of blame, fear and rejection of self on many levels. I had used my body to try to change the status quo rather than inhabiting my body. Sound familiar?
All over the world people have inflicted unspeakable violence on other people. Every day we read
about the viciousness that human beings can unleash on each other.
But is violence, malice, hatred and wrong doing the true nature of human beings? I beg to differ
because If wrong was the norm it wouldn’t be news.
By Di Smith and Calvern Kuziyamisa
Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself. John Dewey.
It is a sad irony that the Hammersdale/Cato Ridge area is not just an area of high unemployment but also an area facing a severe shortage of good workers who have basic education. The Matric pass rate in this area is one of the lowest in KwaZulu-Natal. It is for this reason that we as Awesome SA have got involved with a project called PPR Education.
PPR Education, a brand new NGO, is bringing about a new perspective in education. PPR stands for Podcast, Partnership and Recognition or play, pause and re-wind . PPR helps each teacher to create their own podcast and make it available on DVD to students at the start of the month for the chapters of the Syllabus being covered that month. Students can get to watch the DVD on projector during class or at home on their TV before or after class or at a resource centre being established in the Inchanga-Hammersdale area. On Saturday we had the first gathering of people who are volunteering and involved with PPR Education attending an inspirational morning which included students from Siphesihle High School.
Gcina Mhlophe Motivated Children
Gcina Mhlophe, South Africa’s best known story teller came long to motivate the children to believe in themselves, along with people who are successful and inspirational in the way they live their own lives.
Just recently a friend of mine organised employment for two young people. This is the gist of the e-mail that I received from her – I took a young lad up to Gowrie for an interview yesterday. He came from Matatiela. I thought he was coming by taxi. He only reached Howick at 1.30pm. I took him for his interview. He brought nothing with him. Afterwards I brought him home because it was too late to get a taxi. This morning, I asked my husband to drop him at the taxi rank. The lad told my husband that he had hitched all the way the previous day, and that was how he was getting home. No money.
Today, I took a young lass for an interview. She came from Eshowe and she told me that she was hoping to start work right away because of the cost of travelling back to Eshowe.
These stories are a clear testimony of how determined and willing our young people are to make a difference in their lives and to better themselves. The money they earn supports not only these young people but they also send money home to support their families.
Makes you think, doesn’t it?
Seeing the determination and commitment of our younger people to become the best they can be, even in the most trying of circumstances, how can we sit back and not reach out to better the education in the poorest performing schools in KwaZulu-Natal?
Please Help us Secure Funding
As a co-founder of Awesome SA, I am appealing to you to help us secure funding for the IT equipment needed to launch the PPR pilot project in the Inchanga/Hammersdale areas. The minimum IT equipment needed at this stage is 8 laptops, 8 headsets, and the installation of Windows 10 and Camtasia to be installed on these laptops.
Please contact me if you can help via our website: www.awesomesa.co.za or e-mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org or my cell number (+27) 83 390 4930
In order to see how these podcasts work, please have a look at Salman Khan – he explains it so well:
“Education is not the filling of a pail, but lighting a fire” – W. B. Yeats
On the day that all races voted together in 1994 for freedom, my father drove the farm labourers into Kokstad in the Eastern Cape – the small town nearest to Willowdale Farm – so that all his staff could cast their vote.
That evening I was speaking to Pauline and asked her if she would like to tell me who she had voted for. Pauline did not have the privilege of being educated. The faces of the political candidates were shown on the voting papers. This was done to assist those who could not read. One marked a cross next to the photo of the party candidate of one’s choice.
Voted for my Father
Pauline, in a dignified manner, told me that she had voted for my father. The family tried to think of which political leader looked most like my father. We decided it must have been FW De Klerk who was the candidate for the New National Party in those elections.
I tell you this story to emphasise the trap that an uneducated person can fall into when they do not have the knowledge to make an informed choice.
Pauline, now well into her seventies, is surviving off a pension and supporting numerous grandchildren whose parents have passed away.
Never Being Able to Read
Our history has left us with generations of Paulines who will never have the opportunity to read or write. These ripples will continue to be felt as youngsters don’t have elders at home to help them with homework or who understand the importance – or magic – or reading.
We know that in spite of all the other initiatives and interventions and preventions in our country, the only way we are really going to grow and achieve, is through better education and skills development.
And it is no use just throwing our teachers under the bus, we need to support and develop them; parents need to become more involved and kids need to be educated in a way that involves and excites them.
Inspired Teachers Conference
For those who are interested, Quality Life Company is presenting an Inspired Teachers Conference on 1 March 2012 specially to showcase some of the most exciting and cutting edge trends happening in education right now.
They say, “Prepare to be inspired, shaken and stirred.”
Whatever your interest in brilliant teaching, whether you’re:
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn from the most inspired and inspiring teachers around.”