Presentation on theme: "PARTNERSHIP WITH THE PRIVATE SECTOR IN EDUCATION FOR ALL."— Presentation transcript:
PARTNERSHIP WITH THE PRIVATE SECTOR IN EDUCATION FOR ALL
PERSPECTIVES AND PERCEPTIONS OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR AS A STAKEHOLDER IN EDUCATION
The effects of apartheid will linger for decades to come. South Africa is unique in that its previous governments deliberately and systematically undereducated the vast majority of our population. Economic development is inconceivable without adequate human capacity. South Africa, and Africa, face a dearth of skilled human resources.
We consequently face a desperate shortage of qualified Mathematics and Science teachers. 30% of pupils are taught Mathematics by teachers with no qualifications in mathematics. 40% of pupils are taught Science by teachers with no qualifications in science.
8th grade results of the 1999 TIMSS research (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study): The South African results were the lowest by far with a mean score in Maths of 275 – the international mean was 487. Second last was Morocco (337). To put this in context, Malaysia’s Maths score was 519, the US’ score was 502 and Singapore’s 604. South African students also performed dismally in Science with a mean score of 243, well below the international mean of 488 and substantially lower than Morocco (323). In Science Malaysia scored 519, the US 515 and Singapore 568.
CORPORATE INTERVENTIONS IN EDUCATION Consequently the corporate sector had to become involved in education. During the 1980s some companies provided bursaries for black students at private schools. There were corporate attempts at social (or educational) engineering including Promat, LEAF and NEST. They were naively conceived, ill advised and unsustainable. All subsequently closed.
CORPORATE FUNDERS AS POTENTIAL PARTNERS IN EDUCATION Partnerships that support sustainable development are flexible and willing to model and test innovative solutions to developmental challenges. Most corporate funders cannot be described as creative or innovative. Most follow a reactive grant making approach that is fragmented and ad hoc - generally focused on a high level of branding and the promotion of business interests and have shown low socio-economic impact but high return on investment for the company. They usually avoid high risk, high impact approaches.
CSI funding can broadly be analysed in three models: reactive grant making, proactive grant making and a sustainable funding approach.
reactive grant making The majority of CSI funding is characterised by reactive grant making approaches. While many corporate funders acknowledge the weaknesses of this approach i.e. it is not comprehensive or systemic; few have made efforts to reform. This approach is ad hoc, easy to administer and requires fewer resources but is limited in its impact.
proactive grant making A proactive grant making approach allows CSI funding to align with the values and strategy of the business itself, and with government policy. eg - ICT companies supporting programmes in computer education where they can offer expertise and resources whilst advancing their own business interests. The funds are located in a particular field based on the company’s skills and the country’s policy. This encourages improved developmental outcomes.
sustainable development model The third model is a sustainable development model characterised by the following: Higher risk; High innovation; High impact; Strategic involvement; alignment with country policies; creates local and contextual solutions to development challenges; leverages other strategic and critical partners, i.e. co-funders, NGOs etc; Balances business interests and national development priorities; Designed for system wide impact - i.e. impact beyond the initiative itself; Attempts to innovate within the boundaries of what is possible in the context and within the policies of the country.
The sustainable development model: –is complex; –is usually innovative; –impacts on the nature and extent of service delivery; –tackles fundamental issues of redress; –establishes the company as a partner of transformation with communities and government; –offers branding opportunities for the company. This approach has implications for the ways in which funds are disbursed, the nature of expertise required and the nature of the work undertaken.
However, this approach uses more staff time, is often longer term and involves many months of brokering, consultations and flexibility. It may not always focus on issues that promote the company. This approach usually tests innovative solutions that can be used by government i.e. these models are able to deal with challenges at a large scale and have potential to effect systemic change. It also operates ahead of government, testing new terrain so that government can utilise lessons in their implementation. This compliments government’s use of funds by locating on unconventional focus areas.
The sustainable development approach usually employs the following process: Identifies the problem; Conducts thorough research on what has already been done, analyses previous models and gains lessons to inform future models; Designs innovative models: this means realistic innovation within the context and innovating in a way that has system wide implementation potential; Consults key stakeholders; Secures strategic funding partners: these are selected based on their expertise, previous involvement in the field, willingness to participate in innovative high risk initiatives, alignment with their existing expertise and resources.
Some of the challenges of this approach: it is longer term; it requires extensive research and evaluation; it requires continuous assessment of processes and products; it does not always offer each corporate the branding and marketing opportunities that they require, since the initiative is usually funded by a number of different groups with diverse interests and needs; It has to consider the educational and development deliverables as priority; a number of diverse partners working toward a common goal sees each funder losing some control over the joint effort.
Harnessing Partnerships is critical This approach demands that the partnerships formed are substantial and involve critical stakeholders. Many so-called ‘partnerships’ between public and private sectors are superficial.
partnerships should be formed in response to programme outcomes and partners cannot be forced into arrangements that do not suit their funds, expertise and vision. Partnerships are created when two or more organisations or institutions come together to work toward a common purpose. Partners do not have to share the same mission and often bring different things to the table i.e. expertise, funds, goods, services, technology transfer, publicity, legitimacy and the like. Partners do not always bring equal things and equal shares, as this depends on their capacity and strengths.
Effective partnerships should: Develop a common understanding of projects outcomes; Have clarity of roles and responsibilities of all partners; Have a through knowledge of all partners and their strengths and weaknesses. Weaknesses with this approach: Brokering a variety of partners is often a long and tedious process with conflicts and contending interests. While there are weaknesses and challenges in adopting the partnership approach, there is no doubt that there are substantial gains and real transformation prospects through this approach.
Background to Mindset Over 33 years The Liberty Foundation has taken unusual initiatives in national education. We have tried to see what works, and have successfully and speedily implemented common-sense solutions. The big issue is how to deliver Mathematics and Science lessons on a countrywide scale where there are so few adequately qualified Maths and Science teachers? –14 years ago, in partnership with the SABC, we began broadcasting the entire curriculum for the last two years of high school, including mathematics, science, biology and English. We currently broadcast approximately 600 hours annually, live, interactive and free, on SABC TV 3.
Video came next as an obvious medium for extending the life of television broadcasting. –The schools that have been using video properly have achieved outstanding results. Broadcast proved very successful – but it is more powerful with print support. We deliver the curriculum using newspapers nation-wide including: The Daily News, the Cape Argus, The Star, the Sowetan, the DFA, the Eastern Province Herald and the Pretoria News, in Afrikaans in Die Beeld, and Die Burger and in the Sunday national papers Sunday Times, Rapport and City Press.
As we saw success in our involvement in delivering curriculum-based materials through television and newspapers, we began experimenting with the Internet and began making learning materials available, for free. Based on the experience we gained through our various technology-based interventions, and after the most thorough investigation and feasibility study, we started a project to launch a range of free satellite-based education channels. This helps to address the crisis in schooling through the provision of quality learning materials, particularly in the schools that have under-qualified or no Maths or Science teachers.
The Mindset Network South Africa needs a full-time educational television service delivering a time-tabled curriculum to the country. Our choice of television as the primary delivery medium was informed by the broad availability of TV sets and the high success of our previous interventions, as well as by its ability to be blended into multimedia and web based platforms. On 6th May 2003, we launched our first channel, which is currently broadcast into a million homes, over 2,000 disadvantaged high schools, and many community centres around the country. We are on track to be in 6,500 high schools in under-resourced communities by the end of 2004.
Mindset will ultimately comprise a ‘bouquet’ of at least six broadcast channels: Channel 1: (Further Education and Training – FET Channel); Channel 2: (Senior Phase Channel): focusing on grades 7, 8 & 9 in the same core subjects commencing within the next 24 months; Channel 3: (Primary School Channel): focusing on fundamental learning in numeracy, literacy and life skills; Channel 4: (Livelihood and Vocational Training Channel): focusing on providing business skills and vocational training support for the informal sector; Channel 5: (University Channel); The Health Channel: delivering health education including information for HIV positive people, for those with AIDS and for those caring for terminally ill patients, in a range of African languages, to the clinics and hospitals. Content is broadcast to waiting rooms for patients and datacast to computers delivering a video-on-demand curriculum (with support materials) to health care workers.
Mindset’s channels focus on employing educational content and delivery mechanisms which align with human learning processes – the content is broadcast, but it is also accessible via print supplements published in the press, on video and on the Internet. Mindset has been launched on the multimedia platform that The Liberty Foundation has built over the last decade, including full online and print support.
The Mindset Network is an example of innovative development Mindset has effectively modelled how ICT can be leveraged to catalyse social and economic development. It is innovative because it: Leverages technology to support development - i.e. it is a education project that uses technology and not a technology project that uses education; Focuses on critical aspects of the value chain; Combines the different media – i.e. broadcast, print and web to ensure that the weaknesses of one medium is supported by the strengths of the others; Designs innovative technology that is underpinned by developmental requirements e.g. datacasting instead of broadcasting; Is informed by rigorous research and evaluation; Develops local digital curriculum content, making it unique.
Mindset’s partners It would have been impossible to take a project like this to scale without partners. Mindset has managed to bring together a large number of partners all playing different roles ranging from significant funders with deep pockets and substantial technical expertise to small partners who fund access at a single school. The ability to mobilise partners at all levels and scales, with diverse interests and resources, is unique and is what has contributed to Mindset’s rapid growth and success.
The Liberty Foundation conceived the project and is a substantial funder. PanAmSat, an American owner of satellites, contributed offered us free space on a transponder on PAS 7. The Sunday Times, the largest newspaper in the country, offered us free print support for educational materials, timetables and acknowledgement for our supporters. Multichoice Africa and Sentech provide the platforms and take us to satellite and down to schools, community centers, clinics and homes across the continent. The Standard Bank Foundation provides funding. Telkom came on board to fund Mathematics and to get Mindset’s content into the 500 schools they had equipped.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation initially helped us to bring our ‘technical partners’ on board and then joined us as a funder. The National Department of Health, the Provincial Departments of Health, the National Department of Education and the Provincial Departments of Education and the Department of Communications bring their support to what is an effective ‘public – private partnership). The SABC is our partner in the Primary Schools channel.
USAID has been an indispensable partner which, despite the constraints within which they work, have been flexible and thorough in their understanding of what is necessary to effect transformation. Most importantly, they have understood, and funded, our ongoing research and evaluation strategy thus assuring the highest quality of content. With PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) and Johns Hopkins University, USAID provided funding for the expansion of our Health Channel for which our Medical Research Council conducted the formative research and evaluation. The Ford Foundation funded the site access for the health channel pilot.
Subsequently we have received substantial support for our first educational channel from Barloworld, MTN and Vodacom. Other partners also provide training and our installation support and many schools are being equipped by a host of smaller companies and individual donors. Each partner brings value to the initiative and most enjoy added advantages over and above the obvious benefit to the country. Most importantly, each is doing good, and is seen to be doing good by its stakeholders – its customers, staff, shareholders, unions, the government and the general public.
Conclusion The business community can, and should, form alliances with ‘Education for All’. Business has expertise and, most importantly, deep and fundamental knowledge of the environments in which it operates. Local knowledge is vital if projects in specific countries are to succeed. Business is able to respond quicker than government and operates with fewer constraints. Business functions in various alliances and partnerships – it understands how to draw in the right parties and to harness their strengths in a common purpose. International initiatives give local projects the opportunity to learn from the mistakes made elsewhere and to benefit from what has worked in other environments. Multifaceted partnerships are essential to harness the resources needed to take significant projects to scale. Finally, our problems are such that it is only through combined efforts that we can hope to succeed in addressing the developmental challenges facing us.