Apartheid officially ended almost two decades ago, yet South Africa remains one of the most unequal societies in the world. Equal Education seeks to help address that inequality by advocating for more quality and equitable education for all South Africans. While engagement at the policy level is crucial in a country built upon institutionalized inequality, youth voices on the ground - from those drectly affected by those policies - must be heard.
Although South Africa spends 19% of its annual budget on education, high school students from Khayelitsha - as well as rural and other informal township areas - face an uphill battle to achieve better futures through education. There are two distinct education systems in South Africa: 25% of students attend well-functioning schools with sufficient textbooks, qualified teachers, and adequate facilities; the other 75% lack sufficient textbooks, face high levels of teacher absenteeism and inadequate facilities in their schools, and experience high dropout and repetition rates.
In privileged, historically-white areas of Cape Town like Rondebosch, 40% of students performed in the top quintile (80-100%) in math from 2008-2011. In Khayelitsha, almost 70% of students performed below 30% in math over that same time period. Comparing SACMEQ test results, the wealthiest 25% of students averaged above 600 based on 6th-grade reading scores; the remaining 75% of students averaged around 400.
Education should be the ultimate equalizer in an unequal society. The South African education system is failing that promise. Equal Education and Amazwi Wethu [Our Voices] seek to empower students to advocate for the education they are entitled to.
Equal Education is a movement led by young activists seeking to improve the poor quality of education in South Africa. By working together with communities, schools, teachers, principals, learners, parents, academics, researchers and the government, we build an understanding of the educational system, whilst drawing attention to problems faced by schools and their communities. Equipped with this knowledge, EE offers a new way for people to participate in the democratic system and bring change to education and society.
The Bertha Foundation believes that bright ideas, combined with resources and strong leadership, can create profound social impact. We believe in the power of social activism to generate social, political, economic and environmental change. We believe in passionate individuals and projects that can effect change on a local or global scale. We hope those touched by The Bertha Foundation will in turn be inspired and motivated to create meaningful opportunities for others.
The Judges Beneficiary Fund is a collection of Judges, men drawn from the rank and file of UCT students of 1990 to 1995. The members performed, as youth filled with the accompanying heady joys, Herculean tasks that earned them unbridled infamy. With the passage of time, various Members of the Bench began to gather together resources to support worthy causes. The vehicle for the fair and balanced allocation of these resources resulted in the formation of the JBF in April 2015. Utterly impartial, pure objectivity, couldn't find a more balanced bunch: quis judicabit ipsos judices? (who will judge the judges?)
The New School is a university where design and social research drive approaches to studying issues of our time, such as democracy, urbanization, technological change, economic empowerment, sustainability, migration, and globalization. We will be the preeminent intellectual and creative center for effective engagement in a world that increasingly demands better-designed objects, communication, systems, and organizations to meet social needs.