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Change the world

School of Management Sciences

26/04/2017

My personal philosophy has always been -

GIVE A MAN A FISH AND HE'LL EAT FOR A DAY, BUT TEACH A MAN TO FISH AND HE'LL EAT FOR YEARS (CHINESE  PROVERB)

AND THROUGH EDUCATION YOU CAN BREAK THE SHACKLES OF POVERTY (PAUL TAI-HING)

My thesis titled - 

A FRAMEWORK TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP ACTIVITIES IN HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS

has thus been a labour of love dedicated to the thousands of students I have taught in the past and, through the grace of God, will continue to teach. Where my Master's thesis was dedicated to and recognised the sacrifices made by my parents in providing me with a quality education, my PhD thesis recognises the sacrifices that my students and THEIR parents have made in order to find education to break the shackles of poverty.

My journey, culminating in this thesis, has taken me to the poorest areas of Port Elizabeth where the AIDS pandemic is rife, where clean running water does not exist, where darkness envelops entire communities as the sun sets each day, where every day is a challenge to survive. Yet, in the midst of this sadness, I have witnessed the resilience of the human spirit and I have seen the courage of parents making enormous sacrifices and working two jobs in order to provide their children with education in the hope that one day, these children will rise from poverty and provide better lives for their families. And it is this that too motivates me each day - teaching, in the hope that I can assist to break those shackles of poverty.

Through teaching Entrepreneurship to my students, a project has been born whereby the students actually start a simulated business in order to generate a profit. With the profits, the following education based projects have been undertaken and successfully completed - 

  • BUILT BLOCK OF 20 TOILETS FOR BEN SINUKA PRIMARY SCHOOL
  • BUILT A LIBRARY FOR BEN SINUKA PRIMARY SCHOOL
  • SUPPLY BOOKS FOR THE LIBRARY VIA A DONOR IN AUSTRALIA
  • RENOVATED FOUR CLASSROOMS AT LWANDLEKHAZI HIGH SCHOOL
  • RENOVATED TWO CLASSROOMS AT BEN SINUKA PRIMARY SCHOOL
  • REPLACED ALL BROKEN WINDOWS AT KWAFORD PRIMARY SCHOOL
  • RENOVATED TOILETS AT KWAFORD PRIMARY SCHOOL
  • PROVIDED COMPUTER CABLING FOR COMPUTER LABS AT KWEZI LOMSO HIGH SCHOOL
  • BUILT SCHOOL KITCHENS FOR KWEZI LOMSO HIGH SCHOOL SO THAT FOOD COULD BE PREPARED FOR THE POOR LEARNERS
  • PROVIDE STATIONERY FOR MISSIONVALE PRIMARY SCHOOL FOR PAST THREE YEARS
  • PROVIDE TOYS AND CLOTHES TO MISSIONVALE CARE CENTRE FOR PAST THREE YEARS
  • TOTAL DONATION OF R60 000 TO NMMU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION FOR MARGINALISED, FINANCIALLY DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS
  • TOTAL DONATION OF R50 000 TO MASINYUSANE DEVELOPMENT ORGANISATION TO DEVELOP POOR SCHOOLS AND LEARNERS
  • BUILT TWO CLASSROOMS FOR LOVE STORY (an NGO) TO TRAIN UNEMPLOYED YOUTH TO BECOME COFFEE BARRISTERS AS WELL AS BAKERS, GRILLERS AND CHEFS
  • TOTAL DONATION OF R25 000 FOR THE LAPHUMALANGA ORPHANAGE IN ZWIDE
  • RENOVATED THE LAPHUMALANGA ORPHANAGE IN ZWIDE

 

Above: Dr Paul Tai-Hing

 

Through the practical nature of the project, various learning objectives were achieved, other than learning how to run a business. These objectives include - 

  • Conflict resolution
  • Assertiveness
  • Negotiation
  • Decision-making
  • Teamwork
  • Effective communication (both written and oral)
  • Punctuality and timekeeping
  • Professionalism in the world of business

It is this project which has been highlighted in my thesis and hopefully will be used by other institutions of higher learning globally to include similar programmes in their curriculums. The European Union Commission has already recognised the validity of this study and the NMMU is now recognised as the best practice university globally in the teaching and practice of social entrepreneurship.

In conclusion, my students have taught me humility and a deep respect for the power of education. I have no doubt that I am not able to change the world. However, through my students, I know I am able to make the world a more tolerable place within which to reside.

Below is a link to Dr Tai-Hing's interview on Algoa FM:

Dr Paul Tai-Hing's interview with Algoa FM