Thought School, Creating Wizardsby TEACH South Africa
According to a recent report by Transparency International, provincial education departments are failing to deliver solid basic services to primary schools. The report further states that governance shortfalls may lead to corruption and mismanagement of vital resources needed to educate a new generation of South Africans.
It was found that schools received their budget allocations late, which resulted in them not having the means to run their services effectively. This particularly impacted the poorer non-fee paying schools.
With this in mind, a group of young professionals saw an opportunity to take action and create an environment where learners are encouraged to think about their future and their desires.
A need was identified for learners to be helped to explore these dreams in order to realise them.
Thought School is an initiative in Mncube Secondary School in Soweto that helps grade 8 to 12 learners to think about what they envision for their future. The process aims to inspire dreams, discover potential and train the mind to process information. It also instills the principal of learning as a tool for success. In the learners’ final year it provides assistance in fulfilling the entrance requirements of tertiary institutions.
TEACH Ambassador Emisang Machedi, who teaches physical science at Mncube Secondary, saw these needs in his learners and this inspired the pilot of Thought School at the school.
The Thought School was established on the premise that to change the world does not just entail changing the natural environment in which all elements exist. On the contrary, to change the world we need to get to the alpha, the core of the most dominant of nature’s elements, and that is the mind of man.
The mission of Thought School is to inspire this next generation to dream within the bounds of reality but, more importantly, to help it appreciate that the limitation of their realities is only as restrictive as they allow it to be.
Thought School aims to build on four main pillars: motivation, cognitive skills, education and careers. Each process highlights key delivery messages: motivation is to instil inspiration and the desire to succeed; cognitive skills train the mind to process and absorb information; education is to instil the principle of learning as a tool and method for success; career education is to inform learners that today’s choices will shape tomorrow.
While reports indicate negative elements in the South African education system, and shortfalls in learners not receiving the adequate tools to increase their pass rate, we can rely on the small victories of initiatives such as the Thought School, which will be a beacon of hope in our disadvantaged schools.
Thought School sessions are held every Saturday at Mncube Secondary School.