Equal Education

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Equal Education: Ensuring quality and equal education for every person in South Africa

Khayelitsha, South AfricaKhayelitsha, South Africa
Year Founded:
2008
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Scaling
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

EE is a community and membership-based organisation. It advocates for quality and equality in the South African education system and engages in evidence-based activism for improving the nation's schools. A leader in youth leadership development, EE's campaigns are aimed at achieving quality education for all.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if education was the key to combating inequalities?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

EE is a community and membership-based organisation. It advocates for quality and equality in the South African education system and engages in evidence-based activism for improving the nation's schools. A leader in youth leadership development, EE's campaigns are aimed at achieving quality education for all.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

EE involves young people and their parents in the challenge for quality and equal education. It does this by organizing young people in their schools, providing them with quality information, ensuring that youth and parents sit at every level of the decision-making process, and act as a powerful bridge between citizens and the state. Equal Education’s most active members are called “Equalizers”. They are high school students in grades 8 to 12. “Equalizers” have a leading role in the activities of the organisation. They, along with parents, teachers, citizen sector leaders and community members, work with EE to improve schools in their communities, and they set an example to their peers through their dedication to their own education.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

An example of a running initiative is youth group. Youth group is comprised of high school students, known as equalisers, who meet each week. The weekly meetings provide the regular contact equalisers need to shape and influence the movement. In youth group, equalisers learn the content, values, discipline and self-confidence necessary for their intellectual, political and leadership development. Specifically, youth group programming is designed to encourage equalisers to think critically about our education system, society, law and policy, and ultimately provide insight and guidance for the political direction of EE.Youth group is the foundation of EE’s ability to develop and mobilise young activist leaders committed to fighting educational inequality.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

EE has been engaging more than 200,000 youth in its campaigns and projects, through the leadership of a core of 1,500 Equalizers, EE’s Bookery Project opened 21 fully-functional school libraries in the past three years staffed by previously unemployed learners; The Western Cape government announced that seven schools slated for closure would be kept open (this resulted from EE’s work); Due to a campaign by EE members corporal punishment was stopped in one school; The matric pass-rate in Khayelitsha has improved significantly since EE was established, from under 50% in 2009 to almost 70% in 2012. Furthermore, many young people who came into EE in 2008 while in high school, are today studying at university, succeeding in their first jobs or leading their own civic movements and organizations.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Equal Education is reliant on a network of organizations for its financial support.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are numerous CSOs and some human rights organizations active in the country in regard to the problems in education. However, none of them have generated the active involvement of the thousands of young people who are most directly affected by the problems. Led by young changemakers themselves, EE seeks to improve the poor quality of education in South Africa by giving students and the school community a voice and the resources to get organized an address these challenges.
Team

Founding Story

This environment and the values Doron learned from his family led him to spend a significant portion of his life engaged in the fields of social justice, freedom and equality. In 2007, as Doron was finishing his law degree, he had a conversation with one of his mentors, Ashoka Fellow Zackie Achmat, about the lack of civil participation in the educational system and its policies. For the first few months, Doron and his colleagues would spent every morning sitting in high school classrooms in Khayelitsha township. The experience was profoundly transformative for Doron since it exposed him to a reality with which he was not familiar, a world of difficulty and hardship, and to a reality that many middle class people are blind too.      

Team

Equaliser Youth Groups, Equaliser Leadership Committee, Community Leadership Program, University Branches, Parent Branches, Provinces, Librarians, Partners, and National Council