ABOUT GENERATION @ 

Generation @ is a collaborative initiative supported by various stakeholders to utilize creative and innovative proven strategies to address a critical shortfall evident in the Education system throughout Africa.  The South African government recently (2011) admitted that 70% of schools were dysfunctional. Discipline is a major problem in most of these schools resulting in despondent teachers and non-performing learners.  Add to this the ever evident skills shortage, severe unemployment and the world-wide economic downturn then the reality of a looming crisis is evident. 

The South African Education Department pleaded for private sector partners to present creative solutions to the challenges ahead. This plea for innovative solutions has resulted in the development of The Breakthrough Programme, a holistic and multi level approach to transform schools in our country. This program, developed by LUSA, Kairos Projects, dedicated educators, Web design specialists and other strategic partners will be referred to as Generation @.  

As the foundational phase The Breakthrough Programme will address school values and leadership development facilitated by Peer educators (trained by Kairos Projects) to students.  Principals and Teachers will be involved in the process by enhancing the school vision and strategy. 

Kairos Projects, a powerful development curriculum, created by Paul Jones and endorsed by the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law University of Cambridge, has for the past 14 years been involved with leadership development on four continents and 25 countries. Literally hundreds of thousands of people from varied backgrounds have been influenced by the Kairos Projects methodology and approach. 

The Breakthrough Programme is a 12 week course for young people between the ages of 13 and 16 years. The programme will be facilitated by youth coaches (20-25 years of age). The reason for focusing on these age groups is as follows: 

  • 70% of schools are dysfunctional in some way or another
  • Learners are extremely vulnerable at this age. It’s normally around this age that kids go one way or the other.
  • Role models are in short supply as these kids often come from dysfunctional homes
  • It’s normally around now that these learners start “experimenting with all kinds of things.
  • Peer pressure is probably at its highest level around now.
  • Teachers are often too busy to be bothered with the learners they are teaching
  • There are very few initiatives aimed at learners in this age group. Large sums of money are often spent when it’s too late.
  • “Prevention is better that cure”                                                                

 

Phase 2:  The establishment of Youth Community Chests.

Generation @ will be helping the learners who pass through The Breakthrough Programme to set up a Community Chest in every school where they will be able to identify projects, irrespective of how big or small, that will add value to their school or community. The idea is to teach these learners the responsibility of giving back and adding value. This initiative has huge potential for the learners, the teachers and the community. The idea is to get the entire community involved. 

Phase 3: Digital Infrastructure Investment.

A technology and software (website) has been developed that will enable teachers to utilize dedicated digital media to teach their students and administer their schools professionally and effectively.  “My Cyberwall” website, brainchild of Angela Allan specifically designed to assist teachers to teach their curriculum using digital tools, will be integral to the process.  The challenge is to source workable and cost effective technology to empower disadvantaged schools. This will revolutionize the education system.  

Phase 4: Skilled Bursaries Project.

We desire to identify the needs in the region and help companies and organisations find talented young people who will be given a scholarship and or bursaries to study further. We will be working very closely with our sponsors and institutions of learning.  All students completing the Breakthrough programme will become part of the Generation @ network.  Weekly communications via SMS and website will keep in touch with the network.  Students that excel will be recognized and rewarded.  

Generation @ Progress Report  

Five Schools in Meyerton are currently participating in a collaborative initiative called Generation @.  The project is sponsored by Tongaat Hulett Starch and managed by Lusa Community Chest. The following 5 schools are benefiting from this unique and transformational educational programme.  

Meyerton High,                          ML Koma (principal) 0825570078             
Skansdam                                 ME Khoali (principal) 082 556 9904               
Springfield                                 MI Sithole (principal) 083 943 8054              
Sicelo                                        RJ Maloka (principal) 082 483 3625              
Ratasetjhaba                             LB Mathebula (principal) 082 557 0016  
 

Generation @ is all about raising the next generation of leaders for South-Africa.  We target either Grade 7 in Primary Schools or grade 8 learners in High Schools. 

The programme uses peer facilitators in their early 20’s to work with the learners through a programme called Breakthrough (developed by Paul Jones). The programme runs over 12 weeks and covers topics like Principals, Values, Purpose, Peer Pressure, Addictions, Sex and Life Priorities.  It helps kids to identify their own dreams and purpose for life and what will either contribute or sink those dreams.  

 Trainers of Lusa then train the teachers on similar topics, including coping skills, conflict management, time management etc. The programme also includes an Inner visioning exercise over 2 days (one on one) with the principals.  

The Innervisioning Excercize with the principals went very well.  Words used to describe the process was life changing and transformational.  One principal said that he never had the opportunity to reflect and focus on his personal and professional life the way he had with inner visioning. 

More schools in Sasolburg and Zamdela where the programme was run, have become aware of Generation @ and requests from the Department of Education and local principals to run Generation @ in other schools are increasing. 

The aim of Generation @ is to transform schools to become citadels of hope in the communities in which they operate. 

Phase 2 of Generation @ involves the establishment of Junior Community Chests. So far Leeuwspruit Primary has taken the lead in the establishment of the first Junior Community Chest.  Children are currently fundraising and collecting non-perishable food and school clothes for learners in Tsatsi Primary, where the need is huge.  

All students pledging will become part of the Generation @ community where we will actively seek out opportunities for children showing promise to receive bursaries and other developing opportunities.  

 

Answers to tough Questions