It is quite important to understand the philosophical foundation (underlying SASCEC’s intent), which supports and direct all facilitation, assistance, research and development activities at SASCEC.
SASCEC is the research, development and maintenance platform behind the AltanaESP Network and System.
You have to determine (for yourself, I wish to add), whether YOU agree with SASCEC’s intent or philosophy (climate/culture), before taking any decision, whether or not to participate in the AltanaESP concept (i.e. virtual career/life centres). The manner in which we, at SASCEC, are conducting our activities attempt not to promote a particular philosophy of life. HOWEVER, being involved with, and being exposed to our philosophy in an indirect manner (example being set), will eventually impact on YOUR own philosophy of Life to a greater or lesser extent. Therefore, it is vital that you UNDERSTAND SASCEC’s intentions (i.e. underlying philosophy), due to the fact that it may influence and could change your present perspective or view of life.
During the past 33 years as a practitioner, educational psychologist and social scientist, functioning in the fields of education and training, I came across and dealt with a wide variety of social, educational and training related problems. Often such problems seems to be overpowering, and it appears that we are helpless to do anything about it, and have to accept things for what they are. However, I also notice that people, under no illusion about the shaky stability and the dissembling of prosperity in our country, also shows an astonishingly tough-minded willingness to accept and tackle the challenges of the future. Thus, an enthusiastic willingness and courage to act on and deal with change and the challenges of the future.
At this point in time, it is quite save to assume that in spite of everything happening around us, there are still people prepared to rise to the occasion and with some guidance, are more than willing to make their contributions to improve present circumstances (life) as best they could. These special individuals, at present an endangered species, do NOT need other people’s sympathy for their presumed “uncomfortable” or so called “exposed” situation. What they need are guidance, reminders and encouragement to tackle and deal with the numerous stumbling blocks and obstacles that lies ahead.
When the optimism and enthusiasm of these unique individuals can be harnessed, and their strengths, power and energy can be focused on a common goal, we could establish a community or society in this country which will astonish the world. We will be able to establish a mutually positive interdependent society and create a supportive and tolerant climate to harness the power and potential of all people in this great country of ours.
Quite a positive attitude and a wonderful overly utopian idea, because the reality is something completely different, and in order to survive, we need to deal with reality. A reality of crime, corruption, limited resources, fighting to stay ahead, disappearing family units, decaying value systems, spiralling inflation, increasing unemployment, …etc. However, in our determined eagerness and undue haste to survive today’s reality, we “forget” (actually completely ignore) the fact that we are all part of the only superior species on this planet and that we CAN shape our own futures.
Unfortunately, many people are inclined to reason, what a noble idea, a farfetched hallucination and an illusive impression that man can rise above his/her present circumstances, in order to achieve some greater good and purpose in life. There is an eagerness to agree that a better world is possible… in theory, BUT in reality… NOT very likely and even completely impossible.
At this point, I would like to remind you of the past realities (history) of human beings. A couple of centuries ago, we were living in caves, primitive sticks and stones for weapons, animal skin for clothing, it was quite likely that the food we hunt, would consume us first, no fire, poor and primitive communication, limited vocabulary (compared to modern day vocabularies) and generally a deadly struggle to survive the dangerous realities of the day. Fortunately for us, the human spirit, in combination with the human ability to think and reason, gave us the energy and power to develop skills and competencies, FAR greater than those of any other species on this planet.
This made it possible for us to exercise some control over the environment in which we live and operate. We have learned to make and use fire, to grow food, to hunt, capture or domesticate animals and to make all kinds of useful tools (e.g. modern computer). We have settled in villages (towns, communities, groups) and used language and writing to store and pass on the knowledge that we have gained. In this manner civilization – as we know it today – has developed and still IS developing. Change is never easy and it may take years, BUT the fact remains, it is possible when enough people adopt the attitude of contributing to create a better world and future for all its inhabitants. Especially when we can harness the power, energy and youthful optimism of today’s visionaries (especially the young people of this country).
As a matter of fact: What do our modern day visionaries actually think?
The following is a brief summery of all the different ideas and view points that has been encountered and notice in recent years, and it includes the perceptions of visionaries from both, the black and white communities. Presently they are, understandably polarized on certain issues such as politics, safety, security, future expectations, history, …etc. But amazingly, most of them agreed on the following…
- they all believe in the human spirit and the greater good of man.
- they view differences in a more tolerant and accommodating manner.
- they value and appreciate the diversities of man.
- few will actually leave the South Africa out of their own free will.
- most view South Africa as one of the few countries in the world, that could foster an unprecedented spiritual growth.
- most of them distrust the existing authorities to protect them from crime and chaos.
- they all feel that the present education system isn’t preparing them adequately for the future.
- the majority think that irresponsible actions (e.g. using drugs, rape, stealing, cheating, corruption) is morally wrong and inexcusable.
- quite a number would rather place their trust in some form of religion, than in any existing social structure (including organized religion – churches), to address and solve modern day dilemmas.
- On average they distrust the motives of most of today’s leaders, particularly the motives of politicians.
Based on the above, it seems that the visionaries of today has more trust and hope for the future of South Africa, than the more seasoned members (decision makers) of our society. Maybe they are hopeless dreamers and completely out of touch with the present reality …OR… maybe, we as the senior members of society should start to share their dreams with them, instead of constantly “shoot” them down, with our cynical reality perspectives and restrictive “visions“.
They do not “miss the boat” by a mile, as we tend to think, because, quite interesting, most visionaries, still feel that the way to secure our future in SA and to establish a blissful life, is through learning, education and training. However, only a few actually have any confidence in the present education and training system. Isn’t it high time that we start to address their needs, and support them in their quest, attempts and efforts to improve circumstances?
After decades of “inferior” treatment and education, it is not a huge surprise that most visionaries from the black community, have little trust and faith in the system. But why do visionaries from the white community rate it so low? There are plenty of reasons for it, and to maintain simplicity, we should only focus on the most important reasons for this kind of attitude:
- The general negative attitude of parents and teachers regarding the present education and social system (The white community regard the social-political and educational changes as too radical and too fast. The black community regard the these changes as too moderate, conservative and too slow).
- The lack of proper life, career and spiritual guidance.
- The lack of role-models (setting an example) of how to live an honourable life.
A staggering number of today’s visionaries feel that the present social structures and educational system (family, schools, universities, …etc.) provide totally inadequate directions for the future. They feel that people, especially children, when finished with their periods of learning (matric, degree, diploma) are ill-prepared to deal with the complexities of modern life. They think that people should be exposed to more life oriented training, in other words, to be able to experience and be involved, rather than learning a lot of facts in order to pass a test or exam. Education and training should focus more on the mastering of skills, to acquire competencies and avoid the consumption of “useless” facts just to please parents, teachers or managers.
When the teaching of facts (subjects) is not enough to prepare people, WHAT SHOULD WE TEACH THEM? This question is quite difficult to answer and there never is a simple solution, although the curriculum statement issued, by the SA government in June 2001, attempt to specifically address this matter.
Unfortunately, certain aspect of outcomes based education, present us with countless headaches and could develop in an ethical, political and educational nightmare. Thus, the “keep it simple” motto at SASCEC is trying to keep things as straight forward and uncomplicated as possible (KISS). All SASCEC’s past, present and future activities is focused to guide and assist all individuals to become an empowered generalist-specialist and an independent-team player.
The AltanaESP Model of Learning, focus on the fact that an individual should be equipped with enough skills and competencies to deal with the challenges of a future workplace, and subsequently a community or society of the “future“. Thus, guiding a person to prepare him/herself (body, mind and spirit) for the future and actively try to make the world just a little bit better, than it was before s/he deliver his/her contribution.
Confusing view, maybe… BUT in essence SASCEC intention focus on the promotion, encouragement and motivation of people to utilize their human energies to achieve great things in life, and to re-discover or to be reminder about…
- The nature and immense power of human energy and spirit.
- The uniqueness and spiritual superiority of human energy.
- To rediscover what makes human energy work for the common good of man.
- What are the things that prevent human energy to work, or being applied for the common good of man and all creation.
- How can each individual ensure that his/her energy works better, more efficiently and more effectively, to regain purpose and meaning in life.