Touching Africa Co-operative: Education and Training
We are thrilled about the development in the Touching Africa co-operative drawing
together network members within the Education and Training Sector. This
development is essential, addressing shortcomings regarding education and training
in our country. As highlighted by the InvestRural initiative, (which President
Ramaphosa referred to in his opening statement at the National House of Traditional
Leaders on 4 March 2021), education is a major force to unlock the potential in rural
areas, which due to its stable environment offers a unique opportunity to launch a
pilot project at primary school level. InvestRural is an initiative to develop our rural
areas that cover 15% of SA’s land area and are home to 20 million people. TA has
been appointed the Service Provider for the North West Province and as part of the
Corporate Body of Christ, it can be the catalyst through which projects and programs
can bring light and make a practical difference within the rural community of North
The plan to address the need for quality education has been long in the offing. Early
2019, Deon de Klerk in an article titled ‘A Cooperation in Education and Training’,
wrote that the development needs of South Africa required a new paradigm. There
is, however, no short cut. So, TA Training and Education Services (TA-
T&ES), one of six registered TA Cooperatives, becomes the first to be structured
along the foundation laid out between 2018 and 2020. This includes a wide spectrum
of stakeholders in the Training and Education sector, including institutions like
schools, universities, training centres, service providers, educators, trainers, program
developers and more. The purpose of this entity is to be a forum within which
different training and educational role players can work towards a Kingdom based
To this purpose The Kings Institute, under the leadership of Cobus Sipsma will
come under the umbrella of TA as an alternative vehicle to offer basic education and
schooling. The King’s Institute will thus also become a project and map out how it will
be joining forces within the TA Network. The dream is to grow a “University for
Africa”, integrating various Christian education networks.
The idea is to expand and adapt the existing models for secondary school education
to function in the rural areas and work on the vision of a Christian University with
Cobus Sipsma as the chairperson and driving force of the Co-operative.
Cobus is chair of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) – an
organisation that is the voice of KINGDOM BASED EDUCATION in South Africa. It
serves as an enabling tool to support a voluntary network of schools and institutions
spread throughout South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zambia. It
networks in partnerships spread over 120 countries worldwide. The organisation also
guides schools, communities and congregations in the planting of new schools.
We agreed to work together to include the ACSI as a “project” in the TA Education and
Training co-operative with the following aims:
- Align the development of schools in TA projects with the ACSI (Invest Rural,
Touching Africa Zambia farm and Ikageng Naledi school as first examples).
- Contribute to integrated opportunities between schools, other co-operatives
and the TA network.
The virtual Education and Training Co-operative workshop held in March 2021,
highlighted specific developments to be addressed in 2021:
- Unlocking the power of the KINGDOM of God through a very specific discipleship –
Fathers and Sons. This is the basis to education and training in order to secure
leaders for the next generation and should always be the basis of the operations and
actions in the projects of the Education and Training co-operative.
- Ensuring that Education and Training are always integrated in all processes within all
sectors, work environments and specialist’s subjects.
- Promoting the following three levels within the TA Education and Training co-
o Graduation from school – basic education (ACSI)
o Diploma and technical qualifications (Farming etc)
o Tertiary Education – the KING’s INSTITUTE – Christian University with
Kingdom focus education.
- Touching Africa will play a role in the integration of various role players from the
network and contribute towards workplace blending, online training facilities and
students involved in the King’s Institute. TA will also be involved in obtaining future
funding and network to network coordination.
- In general, the TA Education and Training co-op will coordinate Education and those
involved in education and training within Touching Africa.
Within the TA Network there is a strong sense that we have the obligation to take a
leap of faith to spearhead project driven change with a Kingdom foundation. It is our
humble opinion that no other alternative exists (if ever did). We are faced with no
option but to adapt or die.
Embracing the challenges of these times will open up huge opportunities, not only in
education which is touched on in this article, but also infrastructure, water and