The existing stress on the state education system causes skepticism about the state’s capacity in this regard, hence business is inclined to put their trust in independent education initiatives.
Given this context, it is not surprising that an innovative educational enterprise like the Ukuqonda Institute experiences rapid growth in demand for services it may be believed to offer. Large economic stakeholders like major mining companies naturally seek ways to increase the availability of highly-skilled human resources for their own purposes, and ways to demonstrate support for socio-economic development in the communities where they source labor and minerals.
We see the sustainability of the project in the values, capacities, professional culture and classroom traditions that will be developed in teachers, managers and subject advisors during the course of the project. With a view to promote sustainability, we will prioritise the following aspects during implementation:
- Intensive professional development of teachers, managers and subject advisors who come forward as highly committed and key members of the profession
- The inculcation of a culture of professional interaction between teachers
- The development of special relationships with subject advisors and principals who are mathematics and physical science educators
The post-matric program was the first, but is currently only one of several forms of engagement uitilised by Ukuqonda. Because we recognise that a long-term view is essential to sustainable development, our involvement starts at primary school level. Poor schooling at the primary and middle school levels would result in learners being poorly prepared for secondary school. Since many primary school maths and science problems stem from language problems, we also help in this area (the language support programme is currently outsourced).