Re-imagining education and all of its possibilities

The Innovative Teachers Institute (ITI), sponsored by the Khulula foundation, is a movement for passionate, skilled, connected and revolutionary educators committed to the quest of creating change through adopting innovative strategies that promote development and improve student performance.

It is extending an invitation to stakeholders in education to attend their inaugural workshop on the 25 April 2013, at the Ridge School at 26 Woolston Road, Westcliff, Johannesburg from 8:00-16:30.

ITI provides a platform for public & private school teachers, pre-service teachers, professors of education, after school programme coordinators, principals, education students, and youth programme coordinators to engage in a meaningful way through workshops and open discussion forums aimed at empowering participants with strategies and practices that will enable them to create change in their classrooms, facilitate learner development and improve performance.

This institute was founded with the primary purpose of creating space for educators to re-imagine education and all its possibilities bringing them to the realisation that they possess the power and ability to activate meaningful change that makes a difference in the lives of their students, broader community and the country in general.

“Teaching is a calling, similar to that of religious order when not done just for mere pay can truly bring-about an uplifting experience to both teacher and student,” comments Waahida Mbatha, founding member of the institute.

Participating organisations in the inaugural event include: Assitej, BEEM, Deliver NPO, EAdvance, Home Language Project, Ikamva Youth, Kgololo Academy, Karen Walstra Consulting, Mathemaniacs, Spark Schools, The Ridge School, Think Ahead and XoliswaMoraka Communications.

Registration to participate will be open from the 25 February – 22 April 2013 and those interested can register online at www.khululafoundation.org/innovative-teachers-institute/ . For more information about this initiative contact Waahida Mbatha at  wmbatha@khululafoundation.org  or 079 594 5682.

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AN ACTIVATOR GOES LIVE ON HUFFINGTON POST!

Activator Koketso Moeti, who completed year one of the Activate programme last year, was recently involved in an online Live Chat interview with world-renowned publication the Huffington Post. Opportunities like this give South African youth a voice and ensure that our views are not shrouded in silence or sitting beneath the radar. click here for the panel interview!

‘There is a way out’: An activator speaks of suicide, success and the path between the two

by Sandile Tsie

‘In life we experience challenges, and at times they drain us emotionally in such a way that we don’t see our way out (solutions). But through my life I have realised that in all our challenges, we can find our way out – even if you sometimes feel like I once did: hopeless, full of anger, demotivated and swimming in a pool of confusion. These were testing times in my life.

I was a young boy who was a communication tool between my parents, especially after they had conflict. I remember during my adolescenbet life when I had to use one pair of shoes for various occasions (weddings, funerals, school). It wasn’t because I liked that pair more than others. It was the only pair I had that wasn’t completely falling apart.

At some point I failed grade 10 twice, smoked dagga, drank alcohol and ended up trying to commit suicide because I was tired of not seeing a positive picture in my life. The turning point was after the death of my mother (May her soul rest in peace) which forced me to realise that I have to be accountable for my own life, no one else.

Before I realised my way out, I had to undergo a process of self-introspection and to what I want in my life. I realised that I have been a curse in my own life. I then started to embrace the basic principles of life, started to respect my self, accept my family environment, adopt a positive attitude, and share with others. I also continued with my grade 10 for the third time as I wanted to finish and pass my grade 12 which I later did.

I have managed to learn to use what I have to gain what I don’t have rather than taking what is available in front of me for granted.
Through embracing the change I needed, a lot of things started to change and I realized I could achieve great things.

But, after my matric another challenge posed itself as a threat. I passed my matric but with low symbols. Unfortunately, I was stuck: no money to further my studies and not able to get a bursary. I decided to volunteer in a local organisations and since then I never looked back. This taught me that as you achieve, an achievement comes with its own challenges. Some of our huge challenges need simple answers and commitment to stick by those answers.

There are 3 leadership lessons that I learnt from a Mr Tope Popoola (Nigerian Writer, Preacher and Speaker) life of Ntethe which drive our approach in delivering solution orientated services:

  • We see a way out in every situation
  • We take an initiative to get to that way out
  • We request support from other so they help us get to our way out

I worked in various organisations as a volunteer, manager, and recently a founder of my own consulting company “Ntethe Consulting Services” – a social entrepreneur initiative where I get an opportunity to offer personal and organisational development services. We still have people who find themselves stuck in situations that steal their happiness; we still see community organisations that are initiated out of passion but lack capacity to deliver effectively. It is for these reasons that I have started this social entrepreneur consultancy to give assistance to others.

Where to from here?

Another major challenge I have identified is the lack of effective leadership within our communities and lack of solidarity amongst existing community structures. So, under the company, we will be implementing an in-school youth leadership programme (2012 -2013) with a vision of impacting 2110 young leaders in 10 years to address this need. This is the vision that has been shaped by various institutions that trained me (Common Purpose International, Future Fit, Youth Connection Organisation, loveLife, Nokuphila Community Services, Ithemba Foundation, Winning Teams in Education, Activate! Leadership for Public Innovation, and UNISA).

Last year I attended year one of the Activate programmes which has stretched my thinking to another level. I apply critical thinking using the innovation tools that allow me to navigate my leadership journey by looking at leadership in myself and others.
I just want to challenge all of us as young people of this country: let us value what is inside more than what is outside. What is inside is wired in you, it’s your authentic you, it’s you inner voice that guides you in every challenge but mostly we decide to ignore it. Government might give you a bursary, but if you don’t respect yourself you will misuse the opportunity and blame others for that, if you don’t accept yourself you won’t realise your internal resources that can take you from the one level to the next.
I’m still experiencing challenges but I now know that I don’t have to run away. I approach challenges with a winning attitude. I see a way out in every challenge; I always see a blessing in what others see as a mess.

Now, I am a young Husband, Father, Edutainer, Inspirational Speaker, Activator, Consultant, Community Development Practitioner, Social Entrepreneur and a Networker.’

Leadership: Six secrets to doing less

By: May, Mattheew E.

Posted on: 06 February 2013

Source: strategy+business (28 January 2013)

In the pursuit of innovation, leaders are often faced with three critical decisions: what to follow versus what to ignore, what to leave in versus what to leave out, and what to do versus what not to do. 

Many of the most original innovators tend to focus far more on the second half of each choice. They adopt a “less is best” approach to innovation, removing just the right things in just the right way in order to achieve the maximum effect through minimum means and deliver what everyone wants: a memorable and meaningful experience. 

It’s the art of subtraction, defined simply as the process of removing anything excessive, confusing, wasteful, hazardous, or hard to use—and perhaps building the discipline to refrain from adding it in the first place. These six rules help guide that discipline. 

1. What isn’t there can often trump what is. As Jim Collins wrote in a 2003 USA Today article, “A great piece of art is composed not just of what is in the final piece, but equally important, what is not.” 

Designers of the automotive youth brand Scion essentially used this strategy in creating the fast-selling and highly profitable xB model, a small and boxy vehicle made intentionally spare by leaving out hundreds of standard features in order to appeal to the Gen Y buyers who wanted to make a personal statement by customizing their cars with trendy options. Buyers would commonly invest an amount equal to the US$15,000 purchase price to outfit their xB with flat-panel screens, carbon-fiber interior elements, and high-end audio equipment. It wasn’t about the car, it was about what was left out of it—and the possibilities that absence presented. 

2. The simplest rules create the most effective experience. Order and engagement might best be achieved not through rigid hierarchy and central controls, but through one or two vital agreements, often implicit, that everyone understands and is accountable for, yet that are left open to individual interpretation and variation. The limits are set by social context. 

Visitors to the 2012 Olympic Games enjoyed the “shared space” redesign of London’s cultural mecca, Exhibition Road. It enabled motor vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists to share the road equally, with the only rule being “all due respect to the most vulnerable.” Shared-space design is void of nearly all traditional traffic controls, signs, and lights. Curbs have been removed, red brick has replaced asphalt, and fountains and trees and café seating are placed right where you think you should drive. It’s completely ambiguous. You keep moving, yet you have no choice but to slow down and think. The result? Twice the fun and a steady flow—with half the normal number of accidents. 

3. Limiting information engages the imagination. Conventional wisdom says that to be successful, an idea must be concrete, complete, and certain. But the most engaging ideas are often none of those things. 

Specifics draw people in, but give too many and they turn their attention elsewhere. The former Cadbury Schweppes, makers of the U.K. candy favorite Cadbury Dairy Milk, aired a 90-second television commercial for its chocolate bars a few years ago that featured a gorilla (or rather, a man in a gorilla suit) seated at a drum set in a recording studio while Phil Collins’s “In the Air Tonight” played. For the first full minute, we see only close-ups of the near motionless gorilla, which looks to be contemplating the music and preparing for the performance of a lifetime. The next 26 seconds shows the gorilla rocking out on the drums. The only reference to the product is a four-second shot of the chocolate bar at the very end of the spot, with the tagline “A glass and a half full of joy.” Sales rose 10 percent in the two months following the ad, during which period it was viewed more than 7 million times on YouTube. 

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ONE BILLION RISING: LET’S JOIN ACTIVE CITIZENS ACROSS THE GLOBE!

Wow! Imagine us South Africans joining one billion people across the globe in the world’s biggest peaceful protest! On February 14 this year, the earth with shake with the sound of feet dancing in protest against the horror of rape, a violent act that far too many of the women in our country experience on a daily basis.

And so, this is the call to action for February 14 that fellow citizens across the globe have already planned for …”Stage a rising in your community, office, social group, or school. Organize a flash mob at a landmark building/site, in the streets or in a nearby mall. Have a dance party, produce a theatrical event, march in your streets, protest, strike, dance and above all RISE!”

Today, on the planet, a billion women – one of every three women on the planet – will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. That’s ONE BILLION mothers, daughters, sisters, partners, and friends violated. V-Day REFUSES to stand by as more than a billion women experience violence.

On February 14th, 2013, we are inviting one billion women and those who love them to walk out, DANCE, RISE UP, AND DEMAND an end to this violence. One Billion Rising is a promise that we will rise up with women and men worldwide to say, “Enough! The violence ends now.”

To find out more, click here