We are a South African-Austrian organisation focusing on education and education architecture. Our aim is to contribute locally and systemically to the improvement of education in disadvantaged communities, in both urban and rural areas. The focal point of Ithuba is school education, skills training (TVET) and entrepreneurship education. Our programmes are freely distributed to the South African public education system and non-profit providers. For 20 years we have been providing non-profit education providers with buildings/infrastructure and training unemployed youth in construction. Since 2008, Ithuba has built and been operating a school and a skills centre in Gauteng province (Ithuba Community College Johannesburg). In 2010, we established a school in the Eastern Cape province (Ithuba Wild Coast Community College).
70% of young people in South Africa are unemployed. This is not their failure but comes as a result of historical inequality, which manifests itself in under-resourced schools and limited access to quality vocational training (TVET) or higher education.
Our understanding of development follows Nobel prize winner for economics Amartya Sen who describes it as the enlargement of people’s choice so that they can live the lives they have reason to value.
While quality education alone does not allow young people to move out of poverty, it gives them a greater chance to better their own and their families lives. We seek to enable young people to expand their freedoms through quality education.
A focus on entrepreneurship education
We understand entrepreneurship education as the ability to develop and implement ideas through which civic, cultural, ecological, financial and social value is created. Our approach fosters critical inquiry into socioeconomic structures through project-based learning and is connected to the real-life challenges in the communities where our learners live. In a highly unequal society entrepreneurial opportunities are not evenly distributed. Critical entrepreneurship education investigates the impact of inequality on opportunity and focuses on action at community level and beyond.
We are inclusive
We admit all learners of a community according to space rather than supporting only the most talented. We offer a broad range of academic and non-academic learning spaces in which young people can search for and find their talents and experience feelings of achievement and recognition.
A household perspective
Young people can flourish better if they live in a household with a sustainable livelihood. Therefore we offer skills and entrepreneurship education training to the legal guardians of our learners to support their livelihoods.
For the first 10 years Ithuba did not charge any school fees and was entirely funded through donations from Austria and subsidies from South Africa. Increasing budget pressure has recently forced us collect a contribution of maximum ZAR 10/day (EUR 0.50) for each learner. This inevitably disadvantages some families. Help us to make a sustainable and tangible difference in learners’ lives through your donation.
Fees and funding