Over the past few months, I’ve kept you updated on the Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership‘s Inside Story, a film and initiative that stands to make a great impact on the HIV/AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa. However, this project was born out DCGEP’s ongoing Learning Center initiative across Africa and around the world…and that work continues today.
Just last month, Tammy Noboa, DCGEP’s Chief Strategy Officer, was in Kenya to visit two Coca-Cola and Discovery Communications sponsored schools. In Machakos, as in so many other communities, the desire for educational resources is high. In fact, in this community an hour outside of Nairobi, parents raised money to add electricity to a classroom in a school without any so that they could be selected for DCGEP’s Learning Center initiative. Since then, videos on electricity, agriculture and economics have spurred school and community projects – from students building a windmill that powers a battery in their classroom tied to a solar system model to parents diversifying their crop planting and cutting out the “middle man” by selling direct to consumers.
Last Friday, DCGEP and Chevron, another corporate partner, celebrated the graduation of five Learning Centers in Limpopo, South Africa. When schools are selected for Learning Centers, they receive the necessary equipment, video library and teacher training needed to re-invent and re-invigorate the classroom. Years after the three-year intervention period, over 85% of these schools continue to be self-sustaining – using the teacher methodology and materials provided by DCGEP. The graduation event, held a Kopanong Primary school in the Sekhukhune District, was attended by Vincent Raseroka, Chairman of Chevron South Africa; the Honorable Namane Dickson Masemola, MEC of Education; Alfred Matlala, Mayor of Makhuduthamaga; and Mampuru Mampuru III, Chief of Sekhukhune.
The Minister in charge of education thanked Chevron and DCGEP, noting “What we saw today was an example of good classroom practice. We can only run a successful education program if we build a good foundation.” Since 2002, Chevron and DCGEP have established 65 Learning Centers in Angola, Brazil, Nigeria, South Africa and Venezuela – a good foundation, indeed.
I had a chance to visit a Learning Center in South Africa, and I invite you to visit these two through the photos below. Also, make sure “like” Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership on Facebook for feel-good updates from around the world.