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Centre for the Community School

Project Summary: GULL Project 
 
Project Contact Person: Heloise Sathorar, Marieke Robers, Bruce Damons, Deidre Geduld
Contact Numbers: 0415041334 / 0415042382
Email Addresses: Heloise.Sathorar@mandela.ac.za; manyanocoordinator@gmail.com
 
What is the project about?
 
The project is a collaborative project, the fourteen unemployed community Site Co-ordinators, working in the Manyano Network of Schools. Manyano organises joint programmes around the following five pillars namely: curriculum development; capacity building; psychosocial support for learners and teachers; school infrastructure; and community focused projects. The network was awarded a grant in 2016 to develop programmes around these five pillars. The grant is administered by the Centre for the Community Schools (CCS) in the Faculty of Education at Nelson Mandela University.
 
One of the key projects identified by the grant was the recruitment and training of unemployed community volunteers, who serve as site co-ordinators (SC) to oversee and support the projects in the school. 
 
The primary responsibility of these site co-ordinators is to ensure that all the identified projects are successfully implemented in the various schools. In addition, they provide human resource support to other school based programmes beyond the scope of the grant. One of the main projects that the SCs are responsible for, is the establishment of reading clubs across the 14 schools in the network. The SC’s report directly to the respective school principals at the schools at which they are based. To support the SC’s in the work they have to do, the CCS has established a community of practise (CoP), comprising the 14 site co-ordinators. 
 
Aim of the project
 
The primary purpose of the CoP is to understand the kind of support SC’s require in order for them to perform their functions. The CCS then provides a series of capacity building programmes and workshops linked to the needs of the SC’s. The workshops conducted thus far, include computer training, wellness workshops, negotiating skills and writing workshops. 
 
We intend to engage with the CoP to understand how they function as a community of practice and what value being part of the CoP adds to their capacity to perform their tasks effectively. In addition, we would like to understand the various ways in which the Nelson Mandela University can support them. We then intend to explore with them how we can develop learning pathways through the Global University of Lifelong Learning (GULL) that will not only recognise their work, but also present them with an opportunity to share their work with other schools and communities of practice.   
 
Participants
 
  • Fourteen Site Co-ordinators
  • Manyano co-ordinator – Marieke Robers
  • Centre for the Community School (Mandela University): Bruce Damons
  • Faculty of Education: Heloise Sathorar and Deidre Geduld
  • Other Information
  • Project forms part of a broader collaboration among the universities of Nelson Mandela, North West, Free State, Rhodes and Stellenbosch