Education is a cornerstone of community development, especially as it pertains to early childhood development. Without appropriate opportunities for quality education, poverty traps are reproduced and become entrenched in communities and societies over generations. Breaking this cycle, however, need not take more than a few generations if education is employed as an instrumental and foundational developmental catalyst. Education regenerates the capacity of individuals within society to adapt to new, often unforeseen circumstances, and to harness new opportunity spaces. Lifelong learning is central to this objective, as re-skilling and vocational training is necessary for adaptation.
A CSIR density study specifically done for the project concludes that at least 200 new schools are needed to accommodate the expected Wescape population of 800 000 to 1 million people. Such a need places huge pressure on the public sector. However, through the provisions of the Wescape project, the public sector will be in a better position to design, finance and deliver educational facilities, thereby advancing the national goal of a literate and educated nation.
The Millennium Development Goal for education aims to ensure universal access to primary education The communiTgrow approach acknowledges the right of children to receive quality education and become literate, numerate and skilled members of society who can re-skill themselves as new opportunity spaces unfold in the urban fabric. Of equal importance is that education acts as one of the attractors from which new opportunities for business development, innovation and employment is generated. With the communiTgrow education system’s core focus of creating a culture of learning that spans across age and class, the opportunity to enhance the ability of communities to become more resilient to economic and social pressures is increased. Education also is seen as instrumental to regenerating families, community and the environment.
Most social ills flourish in the absence of a successful education system. A better educated society begets lower unemployment, which leads to less poverty and a decrease in crime. South Africa is a country grappling with challenges on many fronts: unemployment (2.8m unemployed youth between the ages of 18 and 24), poverty, a crime rate regarded as one of the highest in the world, and an education system in crisis. One of the primary focus areas has been in the educational milieu which represents the fundamental basis for addressing the wider challenges in our society. communiTgrow provides for the shortfall in the current provided service, including Early Childhood Development, the elderly, the transition from secondary school to tertiary education systems, comprehensive schooling systems and the youth at risk sector of our society. This is done in conjunction with the focus on traditional services of primary and secondary schools and the FET and technical college arena.
Online edition & free download of communiTgrow’s book “2 BILLION STRONG” available here.