In 2011 a private college shut down its outreach training programme that had been catering for Durban’s Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu areas (INK) without engaging in any dialogue with members of the community.
Frustrated and fed up with the unpredictable nature of outreach programmes that are funded by donations that come and go, Shabashni Moodley, a sociologist, constructed a manifesto to guide the way education could happen in INK, and this is how the Inkubator for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship was born.
“The students and the larger community wanted to prevent the loss of yet another educational opportunity in the INK vicinity – one more loss based on elitist governance, conflicting agendas, brand aggrandising, moral entrepreneurship and charity running out,” she explains.
“The Inkubator’s pedagogy attempts to narrow the chasm between the public-private binary by inspiring cross-generational, cross-cultural, cross-sectoral learning partnerships, thereby expanding access to institutes and extending the networking capital of vulnerable youth in INK.”
Applying the principles of the manifesto has to date produced a women and intergenerational dialogue programme, as well as a programme, that sees young people from the region engaging in conversations about post-school education policy.
The next two years will see the rollout of a digital literacy programme in INK. In addition to the ongoing experimentation and application of this manifesto, Moodley is also collating her education activism into a PhD format, which she hopes will influence the ministry of higher education in their vision and articulation of curriculums for community colleges in South Africa. In the meantime she’s made the Inkubator’s manifesto available for critical thinking engagement, application in other vulnerable communities and general discussion.
Moodley is no stranger to education. She is pursuing her doctorate via the University of Cape Town, where she also teaches and subscribes to the philosophy that education can serve as a catalyst for healing.
“Education has the power to heal if it enables an annihilation of inequality and inequity.” — Fatima Asmal