Basic Education in South Africa
After Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in 1990, the RBF began focusing on improving basic education for children and adults in South Africa as a bottom-up approach to development that would enable the people who had been most disadvantaged by apartheid to participate in transforming and building a new society. From 1990 to 1994, the Fund supported projects testing innovative educational reforms, such as the Cape Education Trust’s work in second language and anti-bias curriculum development; the Western Cape Trust’s project to train teachers of five-year-old children; and Fort Hare University’s distance education project in multi-grade and large classroom aspects of teacher development. Key grantees in adult education included the South African Institute of Distance Education; ABC Ulwazi’s educational radio project; Project Literacy’s Leeuwkop Prison Project, developing an adult basic education program for youth; and the University of KwaZulu Natal New Readers’ Project to develop learning materials for newly literate adults. After South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994, the RBF added a capacity-building component to its program as many NGO leaders began leaving for government service, creating serious gaps in the nonprofit sector that affected progress in educational reform.
Browse the major events in the Rockefeller Brothers Fund's history