Doron Isaacs

Ashoka Fellow
South Africa,
Fellow Since 2013

Citation

This profile was prepared when Doron Isaacs was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
The quality and infrastructure of secondary schools in South Africa are among the lowest in the world. Thus far, the attempts to solve this problem have failed because there is an obvious, although largely missed link that had not yet been established: the role of students in bettering their schools and their country’s education system at-large. To establish this link, Doron created Equal Education (EE), the only organization in South Africa that directly involves young people and their parents to ensure a quality and equal education for all. This is done by organizing young people in their schools, providing them with quality information, ensuring that they and their parents are included at every level of the decision-making process, and creating a powerful bridge between citizens and the government.

Led by young changemakers, EE seeks to improve the poor quality of education by building an understanding of the educational system, while drawing attention to and actively addressing problems faced by schools and their communities. EE gives students and the school community a voice and the resources to get organized and address these challenges. While working to promote systemic change in education, young people develop critical thinking skills, leadership, and teamwork skills through a personal and group development process, and then apply this new consciousness and skill set to make change at the community, school, and societal levels.

In less than five years, EE has had impact both at the school community level (i.e. fixing schools, dropping student late-coming rates, increasing student performance, and building and staffing libraries) and at the national policy level (i.e. having government adopt minimum norms and standards for school infrastructure and passing policy changes in national curriculum). EE is now consolidating its presence in three provinces and building the conditions to spread the movement nationally.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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