GFC in partnership with AgriSETA and Media Works started the ABET (Adult Basic Education and Training) literacy programme in 2005. The aim of ABET is to teach adults to read and write with the help of a special computer-based literacy programme. GFC established four literacy training centres, equipped with 22 computers at their various farms to facilitate this process. The Waitrose Foundation added their support to the programme in 2006 by way of financial support for infrastructure and facilitators.
All permanent GFC employees were assessed and 44 were initially selected to participate in the programme. The candidates were encouraged to attend education sessions of one hour per day, during working hours. During this hour, computer and book work is done and learners are supported by a facilitator. Each learner works at his own pace according to his own ability.
In 2007, 22 learners from GFC had completed either level one or level two of the ABET programme. Level one is basic literacy or numeracy skills in Zulu or English. Level two is a more comprehensive programme of English literacy and English numeracy.
Moving forward, GFC aims to encourage each and every one of its employees to participate in the ABET programme. Learners who are already involved in the programme will be encouraged to complete a higher level of ABET whilst those not involved will be approached to participate.
GFC is also managing the citrus, banana and mango crops of two farms in the Komati area, namely Coopersdal and Roosmaryn, previously owned by white commercial farmers and now owned by land claimants. In order to promote literacy education on these farms GFC will be establishing two new ABET training centres.
ABET training forms an integral part of GFC’s training and skills development strategy. The need for adult based education in Nkomazi is overwhelming and ABET helps lay the foundation for empowering people!
~ Article written by Dr. Hoppie Nel & Pieter Benade (GFC) ~