Working in the field of education is neither boring or dreary, despite the perpetual media commentary that the sector is in meltdown and showing little returns on investment. I will not deny our challenges or the criticism, but the sector is alive with possibility. It is exciting, because we sit with so much unrealised potential in our learners. To unlock them is the monumental challenge.
This evening I attended the launch of the Digital platform "Centre for Education Innovations" at the Waterfront campus of the Graduate School of Business. Many faces present are familiar. Asset, Inkamva Youth, Greenshoots, Cape Academy and DG Murray Trust are known players. Many are unfamiliar. But the vibrant mood is infectious.
Three speakers have been invited and form the spine of the launch programme. Joy(Inkamva Youth) speaks to the need to collaborate on the bases of shared values and common objectives; Eugene (New Leaders) uses golf clubs and balls to drive home the point that we need to embrace and steer our learners from cradle to career and NGOs have a responsibility to help government succeed; David (DG Murray Trust) bemoans the lack of coordination across Funders and that innovative programs are often ignored because they do not fit into the mission of the Funder.
All three speakers deliver short, punchy challenges which generate frenetic engagement.
But what is CEI?
As stated earlier, it is a digital platform. It acts as a repository for organizations and social enterprises that are working in the non-state sector to improve the quality of education in poor and middle income countries. It in essence serves as a database for information, research findings and collaboration activity of non- state organs. The imperative is to share innovation.
The CEI is "birthed" out of the very challenges faced by the state sector: lack of collaboration, coordination and synergy. It attempts to address this constructively, which is commendable. Equally noble is the recognition that the state sector cannot be left behind if we are to provide children with a quality education.
And herein lies the rub. We have to work as a collective. We also have to recognize that within state organs, there too are innovations and creative spots.