School in a box


Up to 58% of South African children enter formal school at the age of 6-7 without having any previous school experience. No Government schooling system exists for children in this age-group. As such they are on the back foot from the moment that they walk in the door, since the 1st Grade presupposes a certain level of education including numeracy and literacy and some mastery of classroom and life skills. Worldwide an estimated 67 million (!) children are in the same predicament. Research indicates a very strong correlation between lack of pre-school education and the failure to complete secondary school. This would suggest that addressing this issue might result in higher levels of education throughout the population which is known to lead to greater economic growth and stability. Complicating this issue is the fact that most of the affected children come from impoverished communities and their primary care-givers are often not their parents – many of whom either work in urban centers or have died of AIDS.

Therefore Janet Dupree propose the development of a “School in a Box” (possibly “Scholi-BOX”) which will provide the children with: a simple and extremely detailed, step-by-step curriculum; the equipment required to support this curriculum; & a training and support system for the volunteer teachers, in the form of resource hubs to be created in association with local Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs).

The problem, however, was how to fund this.

This is why they turned to the Borrel of the Pyramid with the following question: “In which ways can we create financially sustainable revenue streams to ensure the continuity of School-in-a-Box? Which partners are needed to ‘unlock’ these funds (in different stages of the venture development)?”

During this Borrel, a lot of different feasible options for creating this model where created.

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