Chapter 1

"Free education, a novice idea.... 'FREE' is a very dangerous word. 'FREE' means what? Nothing is free, ever. The payment here is the dedication and drive that students volunteer to create a better future for themselves and society.

Purpose of 'The Village' education system.

The purpose of the Village Education System is to train, educate and discipline approximately 12 000 to 15 000 tradespeople. The village will educate and train the willing and capable learner a trade skill that would benefit society and also provide future security for themselves and their families. This institution will be for the rehabilitation, education, discipline and skills development for these hopelessly lost people. The institution will not distinguish between race, sex or credence.

These young men and women will be educated for one to two and a half years, depending on circumstances such as past exposure to trade, and additional subjects they chose for skills development. Refer to future chapters as they get posted.

The better excelling learners will probably leave the village into a working position with an employer, or being self-employed; volunteering their acquired skills for a period of time to help educate future learners. This is a subject for future chapters.

Unfortunately, the larger number of displaced mature adults today has not received the quality education and mentoring necessary to enter the modern work place, UNTIL NOW.

The number of subjects tutored will expand as the building program develops. Issuing laptops or similar devices beneficial to extra education will become the order of the day. Each workshop will have lecturing facilities and practical areas to cover both their theoretical and practical training. Engineering, building inspectors, construction, carpentry, plumbing, electrical services, pottery, farming, clothing, glass, IT, data capturing, secretarial and a number of lesser time requiring subjects will offer freelance or contractual services or labour during the training process. These will be used to expand practical work experience during the education process. In time these workshops will be expanded to engage a wider selection of trade skills which will maximise technical and mechanical skills as needed. These might include industrial production methods and intensive farming strategies i.e. broilers, tunnel growing, fish farming, water drips and spraying.

The learner’s accommodation and education will be the bigger expense, followed by health and sport facilities, entertainment and clothing. The financial objective for the learner is very economical conditions, but ‘The Village’ will strive for non-monetary charges and/or future debt.

Free education, a novice idea…. ‘FREE’, is a very dangerous word? 'FREE' means what? Nothing is free, ever. The payment here is the dedication and drive that students volunteer to create a better future for themselves and society.

'The Village'

The learners reside in ‘The Village’, which goes hand in hand with development and education that is provided to them. After the learner’s duration of contract has expired, they leave the village with an honourable certificate showing the skills level attained for the appropriated trade and theory. (N.Q.F. National Qualifying Framework or equivalent). No certificate will be issued without the corresponding competency trade and/or skills tests. Many could result into higher qualifications and/or a degree if further pursued. The time frame will probably not be sufficient to educate the learner to a higher qualification; therefore, every learner must use this time as a stepping stone to a higher standard for themselves.

The learner’s accommodation will be fitted for healthy living. Comfortable common areas, medical facilities, spacious sleeping quarters, proper dining areas and clean ablution blocks will allow for additional afternoon and evening lectures which will compulsory for all candidates, at least three times a week. The entire complex will be a secure private property. The administration, security, farming and building construction, which includes electrical, water and disposal works, will be managed internally similar to a municipality would manage a town.

‘The Village’ will be established on approximately 2 000 to 5 000 hectare - isolated site. The above will depend on the regional conditions. The village is designed as a medium security complex to house, train, discipline and educate the unemployed aged 25 to 30 year old at a very affordable, to almost no monetary cost to the applicant learner, other than volunteering the willingness to learn, their capabilities, accountability and very strict discipline with severe consequences to disobedience or non-performance. This will result into a turnaround of many thousands of skilled productive, educated industrial and commercial trade’s workmen and women, as required by industry. All village accommodation designs are to be energy, power and water efficient. Economics and efficiency will have to be applied to all buildings and occupants.

This educational institution now known as ‘The Village’, will be established a distance away from cities or big towns, avoiding external interference from any external distractions, other than where social time is given between training modules. All sections of ‘The Village’ will be surrounded by a security fence, later walled. The workshops are to produce a multitude of products by skills training from learners in the various trades, which will instil a very cost affective education system and sustainability for the local and export minded entrepreneur. All the saleable products are sold, thus helping to pay part of the bills and the workshops, which must show a healthy return on investment.

Sections of 'The Village'.

 ‘The Village’ might be broken down to sections as below:

Section A

No frills, economical accommodation similar to a hotel at ± 3-star rating. This motel will be surrounded by a park filled with greenery, animals, birds, fish ponds, a pool and braai facilities.

The park will also be part of the farm training section, and is considered necessary as part of the motel as accommodation for all staff occupants, visitors, tourist, passers-by and business conference facilities. The village will receive a regular number of business associates, local and foreign, from across the world. Many gatherings will be for educational purposes to inform, instruct and tech students, but can also be used for business conference facilities. Another very important part of section A is a showroom and sales area to display manufactured products from the learners and producers during skills training, which may be sold to tourists, or exported worldwide.

Section B

This will be accommodation facilities for lecturers, trainers and supporting staff. This section will house families, couples and singles. One bed, two beds and three beds practically furnished apartments will be supplied. The occupants only bring the essentials. Depending on the degree of isolation, a school for the staff’s children may be required. The staff’s children may not be that many, but they will require normal school attendance, these students are not workshop learners but employee’s children.

Section C

Farming area for training purpose, also providing ‘The Village’ with most of their consumables and food that can be home-grown.

Section D

Hostels and other accommodation for students.

Section E

The section will workshops and other facilities, including facilities for the training and manufacture of export products.

Section F

This is a very exciting future expansion which will absorb a selection of business from the leaving learners (completed contracts), should they prefer to stay on, running their own small businesses from ‘The Village’. This section will be a fully-fledged market orientated production business and competing on the open market. This is further discussed on future posts.

No non-village member or non-accredited villager may enter section B, C, D, or E without an appointment, and then only if accompanied by an official until introduced to the appropriate destination.

'The Village' landscape/management.

The required land will be reasonably flat, or on a steady slope. Stony, rocky or very sandy areas could be poor agricultural land. The will be evaluated at time of inspection for this purpose, and again before acquisition, but might be acceptable with sufficient water and affordable ESKOM power.

The establishment of ‘The Village’ is to be economical, educational, disciplined, accountable and profitable to all participants. “Imagine” more economics means more funds available. It will be better known as self-supporting and selling the surplus. Although the village is an NGO of educational production and training, it may not, and will not depend solely on donations. The villages’ 5% shareholding in every employer business, in combination with state subsidies, must allow each workshop a healthy return on investment, and a steady flow of competent trades people into society. The better they do, the better ‘The Village’ will do.

Employee’s children are not employees of the village, but scholars leavening the village on attaining the age of 18 / 19 after matric, if not employed internally. Although the majority learners and students will leave ‘The Village’ as well balanced, educated individuals to take up employment, The Village’ will also strive to produce a large quantity of entrepreneurs (bosses) in the various enterprises. Most people talk about creating jobs, this is not sustainable if the person do not have a very good  background and understanding of specific skill in all aspects of that particular job, as well as the necessary administration knowledge. Train and educate one to become an entrepreneur and he/she will have a very good understanding of what is expected of them until they are capable of going solo by themselves.                                                          

Structures for electric power, water, waste water and other items will receive very special attention. Electric power, roads, rail, communication, distance to markets is to satisfy and receive all the special attention necessary. Isolation is favoured to minimise interference.

In Conclusion.                                                

This project will be of a permanent nature and of a very, very large investment nature. Industry, commerce, universities, collages, manufacturers, and similar concerns are very welcome to comment or advise on the above writing. As a matter of fact, I will welcome constructive reviews on the above chapter, good or bad. Please mail any comments to me if it need any feedback.

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