Models of Best Practice – transforming education through sharing effective practice

In 2004 the GM South Africa Foundation partnered with Anglo Platinum, the Shuttleworth Foundation and six Provincial Departments of Education to produce a school change programme entitled Achieving Out of the Dust. This programme included a DVD resource of footage of some of the challenges that schools in South Africa were facing and show cased examples of how they were overcoming these through innovation, human resourcefulness, community support and courageous leadership. The title of the DVD was taken from the words of the principal of Sophungane High School in Mpumalanga who was achieving great things despite the isolated location of the school and contextual challenges.

I said to myself, irrespective of whether we have got classrooms or resources but you can achieve what you want out of the dust. You can make something happen.

Lettie Mabaso

Based on the success and experience in the development and implementation of the original Achieving out of the Dust initiative, the GM South Africa Foundation will work in partnership with the Old Mutual Foundation, EMASA (Education Management Association of South Africa) and BRIDGE to produce a second DVD-based resource. This production will focus on documenting selected innovative, impactful, sustainable and implementable South Africa education interventions. The starting point for the DVD will be the filming of the twenty-eight interventions that were selected and profiled at the 2013 National EMASA Conference as examples of working educational practice.

These include the Nali’bali Campaign, Edunova, Go-for-Gold, Fundza, Ikamva Youth and other programmes identified as excellent. Additional innovative education interventions that were not included in the EMASA conference will also be identified and invited to participate in this exciting project.

The DVD will focus on capturing the essence of each intervention including how it started, how it is structured, the key design principles that inform it as well who can benefit from it and how interested parties can access further information or resources linked to the intervention. In addition the DVD will ask the organisations to share their key challenges and successes around the intervention and to share any lessons that they have learnt in their journey to develop a high quality education intervention. In keeping with the approach applied in Achieving Out of the Dust, the project team will also identify common mechanisms that drive the success of the interventions such as human resourcefulness, vision, and so forth.

Filming of the various interventions commenced in October 2013 and will be completed by April 2014.

This DVD will provide a high quality and informative resource that will be used in a variety of contexts to achieve the following:
• Schools – to assist school improvement at a school level with a specific focus on needs identification and the selection of effective interventions using on the DVD as a resource. The concept of legacy school-based projects will be promoted.
• Districts/Circuits – to familiarise District and/or Circuit Managers with effective education interventions and to capacitate them to implement these in their District and/or Circuits
• Development Project Management Students/Practitioners- to showcase effective education projects, programmes and campaigns. To use these as a discussion and training tool for prospective and/or current Project/Programme Managers.

The DVD will also be used as a vehicle to:
• Promote the integration in the promotion and use of education interventions in South Africa.
• Capture the story of the development of the South African child and their needs from cradle to career.
• To shape education and related policy.
• To lobby for specific education causes and interventions.

The DVD will be linked to the current South African education context and school improvement processes, policies as well as change management approaches. It is anticipated that this DVD will be a highly effective and valuable resource that will assist in driving and supporting school improvement and change in South Africa.