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Women Informing Education: Communiversity in South Africa
Transcendental Meditation for Women Newsletter Translate This Article
24 September 2018
Over three million young South Africans are NEET: ''Not in education, employment or training'' and two million haven't completed Grade 12. Over 50% don't pass the national exams known as ''matric'' and more drop out in Grades 10 and 11. Of those who do pass, because matric scores have been lowered to a 30% - 40% pass rate, most young people cannot gain college entry in order to pursue economically relevant, personally satisfying careers.
Setting an example of what compassionate insightful women can do, two Transcendental Meditation teachers in America are successfully bringing education, success and enlightenment to young people at risk in South Africa. Dr. Melanie Brown, originally from New York City, is a founder, Executive Director and faculty member of the Communiversity of South Africa. Marcia Abrahams, also a founder, is originally from South Africa and serves as Director of Development. Though they conduct much of their activities from the United States, they continue to spend several months each year visiting the school.
The Communiversity now has a six-year proven record of educating over 700 young people who have not passed matric (or those with matric who still did not qualify) including those who only made it through Grade 9 or Grade 10.
By combining an innovative, continually-updated curriculum as the basis for a high-immersion, rigorous, four-month academic and experiential program with a strong psycho-social component, the Communiversity has been able to successfully place 85% - 90% of its graduates into colleges in work-relevant fields such as IT, engineering, construction, tourism and business administration.
Instruction in the Transcendental Meditation program—to unfold the full potential of the student, to increase learning ability and focus, and to reduce stress—is a foundational part of the school's success.
At the basis of the other eleven courses, all students are taught the TM program as part of their coursework. They meditate before the start of their other classes each morning, and again before they go home in the afternoon.
The school's website says, ''The real gold of South Africa resides in the creativity and intelligence of our youth.''
Despite backgrounds of failure and despair before attending Communiversity, many of its graduates are reported to be academic achievers who are goal-oriented and behaviorally mature students and are known to become significant, positive leaders.
Based on their increasingly successful experiences with Communiversity graduates, the largest technical college in Cape Town, False Bay College, now welcomes Communiversity graduates as entrants prior to other applicants. Not only do Communiversity graduates have the first opportunities for entrance, they will continue to be among the first to receive financial support—i.e., full scholarships and often food and transport stipends.
According to input both from the Department of Higher Education and the Independent Examination Board (IEB), there are few, if any, other post-secondary college-preparation programs as objectively beneficial as the Communiversity's in South Africa.
The Communiversity has recently opened a second campus in another impoverished community with the same extraordinary results.
Copyright © 2018 Transcendental Meditation for Women
See related article:
∙ David Lynch Foundation honours the Communiversity of South Africa with its first global 'EnterPrize' Award (with video)
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