A strategy for a mini–education system to support transformational development in a developing community
Compion, Johannes Christiaan.
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The goal of the research was to identify the strategies that a mini–education system of a particular private education enterprise could employ to facilitate transformational development effectively in a developing community, with special reference to Sub–Saharan Africa (SSA). The research design and methodology follows the qualitative research tradition with an inductive strategy for acquiring in–depth data (information) from knowledgeable respondents, such as parents, teachers, business people and traditional leaders. The empirical part of the study was based on a constructivist epistemology drawing upon the interpretive research paradigm. In this case, the constructivist–interpretive method was combined with a case study focusing upon the extent that the FCE (Foundation for Cross–Cultural Education) mini–education system enables the FCE to meet the challenges in the Masaiti community in Zambia in order to ameliorate the ineffectiveness of African rural education. The fact that the Zambian community, including the Masaiti community, is a developing community accentuated by the characteristics that about 62% of its people live in rural areas and 54% is younger than 15 years. HIV/AIDS has infected about 15% of the adult population and 64% of the population still live below the international poverty line. The investigation focused on the transformation of developing communities in general, and on the Masaiti community in Zambia in particular. It also focused on the manner in which the FCE mini–education system, as case study, might contribute to the transformation of such a community through life and world view transformation. The study supports the notion that a life and world view transformation be seen as a prerequisite for the developmental transformation of rural communities such as that of the Masaiti. A transformational perspective is, furthermore, required for under–girding an effective and transformed educational strategy. Furthermore, educators/teachers in SSA should provide opportunities for every student to acquire the specialised, additional knowledge, skills and attitudes that would enable them to function effectively in their future roles in developing communities. The developmental problems of Sub–Saharan Africa communities, as represented by the Masaiti community in Zambia, have through the years been exacerbated by a lack of quality education. This study contends that in order to address the lack in quality education, educators/teachers in such communities should re–orientate themselves with respect to those special or additional educational needs and goals that would enable students to fulfil their future roles in their communities and beyond. It is also argued that the mini–education systems of non–governmental institutions could make a major contribution to solve these problems. In particular, the analysis and discussion of the mini–education system of the Foundation for Cross–Cultural Education, has demonstrated that the mini–education system of a private educational initiative can make a substantial contribution towards the educational upliftment of a community in a particular rural area. The study provides an instrument to plan and facilitate the mini–education systems of private education initiatives working in developing communities to effect the required transformational development. To confer advice to these private educational initiatives in SSA and to address the current global concern regarding the quality of formal education, the study adapted Steyn et al.’s (2002) framework for strategic education system planning. The adapted framework guidelines can be used to increase the efficiency of all the components and elements of the particular mini–education systems functioning in developing communities. The particular strategic framework was also applied to identify and describe the needs and determinants influencing quality education in developing communities in Sub–Saharan Africa in general. It was also found that the specific framework for strategic planning was applicable to position the mini–education system, of a particular education private initiative, in such a way that it can effectively provide in the real education needs of a particular developing community. The framework also provides valuable guidelines to educational investors, as private initiatives, and national governments that wish to integrate their education provisioning in order to improve the quality of formal education provision in SSA.
- Education