Mohan Isaac, University of the Free State, Qwa Qwa Campus


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Experiental learning weds community service learning: A marriage made in heaven at University of Free state

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Mohan Isaac, University of the Free State, Qwa Qwa Campus

  1. 1. Experiential Learning weds Community Service Learning: A marriage made in Heaven I A Mohan University Of The Free State South Africa
  2. 2. <ul><li>2003 To 2004 Research Project by the Dept: of Accounting, “Financial Record Keeping as a Tool for Small Business Success- A case of Qwa Qwa”. </li></ul><ul><li>200 small/micro businesses interviewed </li></ul><ul><li>Findings: </li></ul><ul><li>96% did not have any proper records other than that of their debtors and creditors </li></ul><ul><li>92% had no idea how much profit they were making or how much loss they were incurring </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>73% of these entrepreneurs were forced into this field due to unemployment / retrenchment </li></ul><ul><li>89% of the women entrepreneurs started their small business due to death of the breadwinner in the family (Aids?) </li></ul><ul><li>91% did not know how to decide their mark-up and to price their merchandise competitively </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Undoubtedly, there was a need for the University to do something to help these self-employed people </li></ul><ul><li>Thus evolved the module “Functional Bookkeeping and Accounts for Small Scale Entrepreneurs”. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>In 2005, the course was advertised to the public and 39 entrepreneurs successfully completed the training </li></ul><ul><li>Free State Development was approached to be a service sector partner which was readily accepted </li></ul><ul><li>MOU was signed between the University and FDC in 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>FDC took over the advertising and recruitment of entrepreneurs to be trained. In 2006, 44 entrepreneurs were trained. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>In 2007, 46 entrepreneurs were trained </li></ul><ul><li>In 2008, SEDA (Small Enterprises Development Agency) showed a keen interest in this project and expressed their willingness for support </li></ul><ul><li>They also identified some needy entrepreneurs and together with FDC clients, 39 entrepreneurs were trained. </li></ul><ul><li>2009 training took place during last holidays with 33 trainees </li></ul><ul><li>In 2010, 45 entrepreneurs were trained </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Every year a Certificate of Attendance is awarded to those who successfully complete the course </li></ul><ul><li>The event is sponsored by FDC (and now SEDA as well) and the function is attended by dignitaries and leaders from the community </li></ul><ul><li>Students who participate in the training are also given presents like T shirts, bags etc by FDC and SEDA </li></ul><ul><li>IMPACT ASSESSMENT </li></ul><ul><li>This was another crucial step in our project. A central feature of our programme was its emphasis on participation and organisational learning. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>So our approach was distinct from the usual after effect findings on short courses in that we wanted to emphasise ‘improving the service learning programme rather than proving its impact. </li></ul><ul><li>There was general consensus that the training helped them to manage their finance more effectively. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>The course consists of Five Modules and each module is divided into two parts: Theory and Practical </li></ul><ul><li>First, theory is presented by selected (trained) students and the trainees are free to ask questions </li></ul><ul><li>After a short break the practical session starts where relevant exercises will be given </li></ul><ul><li>Each trainee will be assigned a student who will sit them and clarify their doubts or questions </li></ul><ul><li>Assignments will also be given to be submitted in the next session </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Summary of Modules: </li></ul><ul><li>Module 1- Overview of Accounting, Types of businesses in South Africa and their legal requirements, Calculation of “How wealthy are you?” </li></ul><ul><li>Module 2- Basic Accounting Equation, Concepts of Assets, Liabilities, Owner’s Equity, Withdrawals by the owner, Income and Expenses, Cash and Credit Transactions </li></ul><ul><li>Module 3- Journals, CRJ, CPJ, Purchases Journal, Sales Journal, General Journal and Petty Cash Journal </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Module 4- Determining Profit, Sales and Cost of Sales, Stock-taking and Valuation of Stock, Mark-up and Gross Profit, Income other than Sales and Net Profit </li></ul><ul><li>Module 5- Fixed Assets and Depreciation, Tangible and Intangible Assets, Different methods of calculating depreciation, Depreciation as a non-cash expense, Other non-cash expenses like Bad debts </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>We do not make any claims that this CSL Project will uplift and enlighten the small business sector in Qwa Qwa as a whole because there are hundreds of thousands of them </li></ul><ul><li>We do believe that, “Little drops of water make the mighty ocean and little grains of sand make the pleasant land.” </li></ul><ul><li>So this little drop of water is our small contribution towards making a mighty ocean in South Africa. </li></ul><ul><li>We have been doing it for the past five years and we will continue doing it. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>The time has come for higher education to go to the poor, and to demonstrate that it is not only individuals, but also communities- and indeed nations- that will prosper as a result. </li></ul><ul><li>“ THANK YOU” </li></ul>