While society is forced to innovate, our schools often remain stagnant and set in their ways. As a result, high school graduates are not the doers, makers and cutting-edge thinkers that the country needs in the future. Certainly, some of the better private schools are modernising – having pupils work to solve problems, learn online and integrate science with the arts. However, most institutions do not teach what should be the centrepiece of a contemporary education, entrepreneurship, the capacity to not only start companies but also to think creatively and ambitiously.
Entrepreneurship education benefits pupils from all socioeconomic backgrounds because it teaches kids to nurture unconventional talents and skills. Furthermore, it creates opportunity, ensures social justice, instils confidence and stimulates the economy. The entrepreneurial sciences are not only based on opportunity recognition, but more importantly on perseverance and hard work. We invest today (in a lemon tree), we nurture and learn, with future returns in mind.
Our Grade 8 “Lemon Tree” project does not only introduce our pupils to business development (growing sellable produce) but introduces them to many other real life situations. Our pupils start their high school career with their own lemon tree (about 1 meter tall and just over a year old) and they will have to nurture their tree to maturity over the next 5 years. The fruit of their labours is obviously theirs to keep.
In fact, this will become a completely integrated part of the learning process. The pupils will be introduced to the sciences and chemistry of farming. This includes fertilisation and pest control. Our pupils will have access to our SANAS accredited chemical laboratory (the only on its kind in the province and the only school that has one). Other places of integration that come to mind include Business Studies and Accounting (scalability and product costing); Chemistry (fertilisation and pest control); Natural Sciences (effects of different growing conditions) Geography (weather and area); Statistics (Data logging and management); Biology(pest control); Research and Problem solving (disease and growth management) and even some applications in Art.