A call to action

IN THE PAST YEAR, GOAL PROGRAMS HAVE SERVED OVER 7000 LEARNERS IN 2 PROVINCES; LIMPOPO AND GAUTENG.

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Message from the president

It is an honor and privilege to lead such an organization. My gratitude goes to the Founder of this organization, for this vision and allowing us to serve our communities through it. It is a new era for Gallery of Academic Leaders, and I am both excited and scared of what is coming. The whole GOAL network can rest assured that I will serve this organization to the best of my abilities, and every decision I make will be in the best interest of GOAL and its members.

We are facing very difficult times as a country, and young people need to take charge and do something about our situation. As I would like to put it, if you don’t want your neighbor to steal from you, educate him so that he is able to provide for his needs. Education is the fundamental tool that can be used to alleviate most of the socio economic challenges we are facing as a country.

Instead of blaming our government while sitting in our comfortable homes, we as Gallery Of Academic Leaders have decided to do something about it, and that mandate is now passing from one era under the leadership of my predecessor, to a new era under my leadership.

Below are a few need-to-know points on the future of this organisation

1. Background- Outline of the Challenge:

Disclaimer: The following information was adapted from researches conducted from as far back as 2009, and therefore the statistics may have changed

General Statistics in Limpopo Province (Our primary focus area):

Population Rate: 5.2 million (54.6% women; 45.4% men)

Unemployment rate: 26.8%

Education Status:

Despite South Africa's position as the continent's largest economy, its public education system is in a dire state. One secondary school in the North shows just how dire it is. Inside the yard of Alapha Secondary School in Limpopo, windows are broken and the stench emanating from the pit latrines hangs thick in the air. There is little shade or air-conditioning to offer respite from the brutal heat.

Academically, things don't get much better. At the end of the 2012 school year not one of Alapha's 20 pupils sitting their matric exams passed.

Like many schools across the country, Alapha magnifies the failings of our public education system, which has been ranked among the worst in the world. Mismanagement also plays its role in the lack of teaching aids. Limpopo was the province most severely hit by the government's failure to supply textbooks for an entire academic year a few years ago.

"We just listen and visualize," said Desiree Mathekga, one of the 30 learners, said. "It is hard, but this is all we have, we just have to study hard with what we have."

The Limpopo education department has admitted that this is a "cause for concern, but not unique".

Four other schools in the province also saw a 0% pass rate in 2012. The government blames part of the problem on its inability to attract teachers, despite a 25% unemployment rate. "Schools in rural areas tend to perform badly because few teachers are willing to work in far-flung areas," said Kgomo.

Access to resources:

The report also shows that only 21.1% of public schools in Limpopo had computer laboratories in 2013. Only about 16.2% of public schools in the province reported having access to the internet in the same year. About one in every ten public schools (10.8%) in Limpopo had access to a library while 7.8% had access to a laboratory.

Admission to university:

Currently fewer than 10% of South African youth access higher education (SAIRR, 2009) of which only a fraction come from township or rural communities.

2. Our response to these challenges

Do we have a part to play in this as Gallery of Academic Leaders?

The answer is simple: OF COURSE WE DO.

While we may not be able to have too much influence in many of the logistical challenges that these learners face, we are confident that we have a part to play in improving the results, which we believe will ripple effect into better services being offered to these schools. Our programs must be formed in a way that they:

  • Are designed to have an impact despite logistical challenges;
  • Make up for all the lost time experienced by the learners throughout the academic year due to, inter alia, no teachers for certain key subjects;
  • Allow learners to experience learning in different geographical areas through away programs;
  • Keep learners motivated from the beginning until the end of the year through our school visits;
  • Not only focus on grade 12 learners, but instead, start working with learners from as early as at least the beginning of grade 11 (subject to resource availability);
  • Expose learners to career options and bursary opportunities from as early as grade 10 through our career expos and school visits;
  • Fight against systems that prevent learners from accessing higher education, which include but are not limited to subjects combinations;
  • Grant learners opportunities to think out of the box by launching programs in the form of competitions relevant to their learning and relevant to our current environment;

GOAL’s Mandate:

To provide Low-Cost, high-impact, youth-driven transformation!!

Our mandate and long-term strategic vision is to run our programs through the youth of this country, at the lowest possible costs, making the highest possible impact in the lives of our beneficiaries, and therefore improving the communities we live in.

All our programs shall be designed in the way that they conform to this strategic vision, in order to realize the vision and mission of Gallery of Academic Leaders as outlined in the founding documents.

3. What’s in it for us?

A question that many people ask themselves when they consider joining an organization like this, or devoting their time to such an organization, is what’s in it for me? Yes, you do not get a salary at the end of the month; yes sometimes you might even have to use your own money for certain things to happen, so what really is in it for you? For us?

The answer to this question varies from one individual to another. For some, the leadership skills gained in our operations sums it all up, while for some, the personal satisfaction of enriching another’s life makes it worth their while. For most of us, the combination of both these two factors is the reason we are willing to put our blood and sweat into nurturing this organization.

We believe in grooming future leaders; leaders who will NOT only be great at leading multinational companies, but leaders who will also be passionate about grooming more leaders. We believe that our structures, as well as our programs, give all our members the opportunity to grow their leadership skills that are very much needed in the workplace. We afford our members an opportunity to head or participate in certain tasks that vary in nature according to our events and/or programs, and most of these tasks have the nature of pushing the concerned members out of their comfort zones and therefore stimulate their thinking-this is our pride as an organization.

But, the main focus of our existence as an organization is to better and uplift our communities through educational training. We pride ourselves in being the agents of the change that our country so desperately needs. A great man once said, “When I die, I will continue to live in this child’s life through my impact in him, and when this child transfers those teachings to their children, I will live in their lives as well, and so on.” Our real benefit is not tangible; it is the satisfaction of the change we make in our communities.

4. Implementation Process:

Where do we start?

If we are not willing to invest our money, energy and time in it then who would be willing to?

Gallery of Academic Leaders (GOAL) is at a developing stage, a stage where its fully-functioning capacity depends on the sacrifices of its members, advisors, and other external stakeholders who believe in our vision.

Since establishment in 2013, GOAL has not had an official sponsor, with most of our programs financed by our own members and certain members of the community who believe in our vision and who see the results of our work.

As the president of this organization, I urge all our members to carry the GOAL badge on their shoulders and most importantly in their hearts. We believe that the current financial constraints will not last long, but for now, we have to get the job done by any means necessary.

What kind of people are we looking for as an organization?

If I was to summarize my answer to this question in one word, it would be, “we are looking for people with a heart of servanthood, and a heart for people!!”

People who merely want recognition have no place in this organization. We want people who want to serve their communities through our programs; people who are moved by the situation we find our communities in. We do not pay our members, the participation is purely voluntary, and hence it is so important to understand that we need people with a heart of servanthood and a heart for people.

We want people who are willing to sacrifice a piece of their being, to see the less privileged get the same opportunities that were afforded to them, or even more so, the opportunities that were never afforded to them.

5. Year 2020 Vision

Limpopo Province, our primary area of focus, is divided into the following districts:

  1. Capricorn District;
  2. Mopani District;
  3. Vhembe District;
  4. Waterberg District;
  5. Sekhukhune District

Since establishment in 2013, we had only been working in the Capricorn District; in 2015 we launched into Waterberg District. We have recently launched a new region in University of Venda, which will allow us access into the Vhembe District.

By 2020, we want to have all our programs primarily running across all five districts (see above) in the Limpopo Province, and also not forgetting our other focus areas outside Limpopo Province, such as Alexandra, Attredgeville and other identified areas in Gauteng province . Our strategies will be radical in achieving this vision.

Gallery Of Academic Leaders

Opening the book of life

The organization of the Gallery of Academic Leaders (GOAL) holds the totch of discipline, in all its enrichment programs very high, and further has strategically put in place measures to ensure that the standard of undisturbed and most disciplined organization is attained.

ABOUT GOAL

GOAL is a non profit organization established on 28 August 2008, and formely registered with the Department of Social Development in August 2013.

Contact

Gallery of Academic Leaders
662 Francis Baard Street
Arcadia
0083

+27 (0)73 062 7051
info@goaleaders.org

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