Tag Archives: matriculants

Advice for matriculants: keep dreaming, planning and doing

Passed? Where to now?

Passed? Where to now?

In the past week, I’ve been bombarded by articles on matric results, with people giving their take on how to deal with this never-ending problem and the way forward.
If I’m feeling overwhelmed by all this, what of those poor matrics, having to cope with their success, achievements, failure, the future and joblessness?
Let me add my bit, gleaned from all my article readings…… My advice for school-leavers:keep moving, dreaming, creating and doing…you’re in the driving seat. Three key words: purpose, creative thinking and doing.
1. Agency
“Are we pilots or passengers” asks, Are we just drifting or directing our lives? The word agency is defined as “our power to affect the future” and the writer goes on to say we all have more agency than we think we have and we need to realise this and use it to steer our lives in the direction we want to go.
Using the ideas of Albert Bandura, We are advised to focus on our intentions, vision and purpose for our lives and then use our agency to work towards achieving our goals. We do have the ability and power to make things happen by planning and acting.
So, school-leavers entering the real whole need to be guided in some self-reflection to tap into their own purpose or goal and to plan how to fulfil it in a relevant way.
2. Daydreaming
Another article, based on an education and entrepreneurship report in the UK, focused on the value of daydreaming or “relaxed attention” in exploring alternative solutions to challenges and problems. Our school systems neglect this type of thinking and hence produce matriculants who can’t think for themselves, critically and creatively. This is a key ingredient in developing innovators, entrepreneurs and motivated citizens and engaging them in the social and economic (and yes, political) sectors of our society.
3. Operacy
“From Thinking to Doing” explores the ideas of Edward De Bono, the creative thinking guru. The three aspects of thinking: “what is; what may be; and what can be” are used to show how creative ideas emerge from changing what is already known to a new idea or product. “Finding a different use for an existing product or developing it into something completely different is what entrepreneurship is all about.”
Without detailing the cognitive process, suffice it to say that according to De Bono, “In education we are concerned with literacy and numeracy. That leaves out the most important aspect of all, ‘operacy’. The skills of action are as important as the skills of knowing. We neglect them and turn out students who have little to contribute to society.”

Moving on with purpose, creativity and action

Moving on with purpose, creativity and action

Solution
Change our education system, focus on skills of thinking and action, and we won’t experience this annual crazy frenzy of opinions about the state of education and how students should learn and be taught to become useful and productive. Students would feel more empowered to steer the course of their lives in ways that suit them, their knowledge and skills, their circumstances and their own goals for their future.

And, by the way, everything I’ve said applies to young, old, individuals and businesses too….. have a brilliant 2015!

SA government must do better at development education and people-to-people links

With all the networking I’ve been doing over the past eight months, I’ve got to meet so many interesting people doing exciting things. I’ve been inspired, encouraged and learnt so much about how to improve the way I do things.

The highlight of last week (perhaps my year?) was the opportunity to meet people involved in the AusAID Australia Awards – Africa Programme. Ever heard of that? Well, let me enlighten you, as I was………. This is my short version, however, you can visit www.adsafrica.com.au or http://www.ausaid.gov.au/australia-awards if you want more information.

The Australian government, through its Agency for International Development (AID), has been working very hard and investing millions in its efforts towards achieving the UN’s Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) of eliminating poverty and hunger, improving health, gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability, as well as creating global partnerships. It has shown its commitment by giving assistance in these areas to over 145 developing countries. Examples include delivery of: sanitation and clean water supply programmes in African countries like Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and South Africa; measles and polio immunization programmes in Papua New Guinea; building a bridge across the Mekong River giving marginalized people in East Asia more mobility and accessibility to economic opportunities.

AusAID works with governments of developing countries to improve the way they deliver social, economic and community services. Through partnerships and policy dialogues with specific organisations, clinics and schools are built, advice and training is given; management systems are put in place – all with a view to improving crucial services and empowering people.

Enter the Australia Awards… The Australian government provides funds for educational and training opportunities for key people who take up scholarships in Australia where they study and develop skills that empower them to contribute to capacity and skills building and leadership on their return to their home countries. In this way these awardees, with potential to be future leaders, change-makers and advocates for a better life – socially and economically, promote the development and improvement in the quality of health, educational, social and civic services and make a difference to their communities and their countries.

There is a message in this: If the Australian government can implement a development education and training initiative in Africa, surely the South Africa government can too? Let’s follow their lead.

As communities explode over lack of services delivery and as over 20,000 South African matriculants prepare to enter the working world, it behoves leaders in business, education and civic organisations to get into gear on urgent dialogue, action and proactive partnerships to speed up reform of skills development and training programmes to increase job creation, reduce poverty, improve service delivery, energise our economy and develop good citizens.