1. MANDELA’S LEGACY IN EDUCATION AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
In 2007, President Nelson Mandela founded the Nelson Mandela Institute for Education and Rural Development (NMI) to take forward his legacy work in education and rural development.
2. FOUNDING PARTNERS
The Nelson Mandela Institute (NMI) was founded through a partnership between the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF), the University of Fort Hare (UFH), the National Department of Basic Education and the Eastern Cape Provincial Department of Education. Senior leadership of each founding partner sits on the Board of Trustees.
The Institute embodies a working partnership between government, civil society and the university sector accountable to rural children and their communities. The goal of the partnership is to create a space for new thinking and new policy development accountable to rural children and their communities.
The Nelson Mandela Institute is located within Mandela’s alma matre, the University of Fort Hare (UFH), in his home province of the Eastern Cape.
Beyond producing known leaders of the African liberation movement, Fort Hare has a proud history of building leaders across science, history, agriculture, art, music and commerce.
The Eastern Cape is located along the eastern coast of South Africa, the second largest province in democratic South Africa. With a proud history of anti-colonial struggle, the Eastern Cape is currently one of the most rural and impoverished provinces in South Africa, confronting many of the educational challenges shared with the rest of the African Continent.
4. STARTING POINTS
- The majority of children participating in schooling in poor and working class schools across Africa are not learning to read, write and work with whole numbers in the early grades of schooling
- Without access to strong fundamentals, the majority of children in Africa survive rather than thrive in schools.
- The vibrancy of Africa will reflect the quality of public education serving its children.
- The education project across African has largely not built upon the home language resources of children; too much of the experience of education is not meaningful. As such, public education is more effective at producing strong memorisers, rather than creative thinkers at scale into the future.
- There is too little research and development work engaged in rural and poor African language dominant communities and classrooms over extended time to build valid and sustainable solutions to uplift rural schools, and the communities they serve.
- Placing the rural child, parent and teacher at the centre, the NMI aims to build evidence-based solutions to quality education capable of turning around the system of education for poor children into the future.