The history of adult education provision at Beatrice Street YMCA in Durban (1978-2003).
Vilakazi, Mlungisi Johann.
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Among all the other files in my cabinet is one marked 'adult education'. It is a bulky file of documents dating back a number of years. It contains reports, articles and official documents both from NGOs and the Department of Education. The content of the collected document files include the pros and cons surrounding the long debate regarding the history of adult education provision at the Beatrice Street YMCA (BS YMCA). Another issue surfacing in these files is the issue of fund-raising, as a lack of funds poses serious concerns about the provision of adult education. The economic, social and political situations presented to the BS YMCA an irresistible challenge, especially in the city of Durban and surroundings. The Board of Management is sensitive to the needs of young people and has identified adult education as a means of offering support. Adult education provision at the BS YMCA offers invaluable skills. These skills include survival English (i.e. communication and numeracy), functional (workplace and society) and compensatory tools (life skills). It was not an easy road to travel for them, especially as the core need of the young people is employment. Over the years there were much needed changes in the adult education programmes offered at the BS YMCA. The development of educational policies from 1993 became the vehicle for the new dispensation in adult education. Adult education programmes at the BS YMCA changed from a traditional (teacher-centered) approach to a participatory approach based on dialogue. (which was more learner centered). The new programmes aim to offer more employment opportunities. The provision of adult education by the BS YMCA has been recognised by different educational departments over the years. The BS YMCA , being part of the educational struggle for transformation , was instrumental in pioneering "finishing schools" in the 80s. Skills training was also introduced to the BS YMCA educational programmes in 1994. The initiated programmes are vital in addressing the needs of the young people in the city of Durban. This dissertation is concerned with the history of adult education provision at the BS YMCA, whose concerns include a holistic approach regarding the mind , body and spirit (The world alliance of YMCAs 'Red Triangle '). The BS YMCA's philosophy and origins of the Red Triangle show a link between the body, mind and soul. The history of provision of adult education at the BS YMCA was a struggle of a non-governmental organisation becoming a state public center. There is also a link between curriculum design and social change of young people. In conclusion, the study aims to examine various adult education curricula changes over the years. These changes address responsible attitudes towards civil society and the effects of social evils and personal guidance.