GADRA Education is widely regarded as the leading education NGO in Grahamstown. As the city’s oldest community organisation, it has opened doors to quality learning for thousands of young people through its dynamic education programmes and pioneering outlook on transformation. GADRA Education is driven by a dual concern to mitigate the effects of the education crisis and to attack the causes of the crisis. The organisation not only provides outstanding education services but critically engages with the vexing yet crucial challenge of transforming public education in and around Grahamstown. Engaging respectfully and proactively with key role players in the education landscape its standing and credibility in Grahamstown are excellent. It is only through the strength of the organisation, its position within the community, willingness to innovate and dedication of its staff that its ambitious agenda becomes achievable.
Two of the most pressing challenges in South Africa are education and employment. There is a statistically established relationship between one’s level of education and one’s employability. The education crisis lies at the heart of the growing youth unemployment problem in South Africa. Learners are underperforming and there is no indication at all that the downward trend has been arrested never mind reversed. There is an urgent need for informed and innovative intervention motivated by a strong transformation agenda in the public schooling sector.
GADRA Education operates in Grahamstown in the rural Eastern Cape. The Eastern Cape is consistently the worst performing education province in South Africa. Grahamstown is unfortunately not an exception in this regard. The six under-resourced schools that accommodate poor black learners seldom obtain matric pass rates of higher than 50%. Furthermore, the small town lacks an industrial base which makes work scarce and difficult to come by; unemployment in Grahamstown is consequently very high, especially amongst young adults. In summary GADRA Education advances development through education in a rural, under-privileged and poor community.