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Trust and Hope: the HCET story

THE story of the genesis and development of the HCET over the past 25 years has been recorded in a book. Entitled Trust and Hope: The Story of the Hantam Community Education Trust, it has been written by Anne Hill, an education specialist who has consulted to the HCET for a number of years and is intimately familiar with its history.

Researched over several years, the author drew on unrestricted access to data in reports and records, as well as in-depth interviews with key role players.

In a foreword, Jonty Driver writes:

‘For the last quarter-century, and more particularly since 1992 when I was first allowed to become a regular visitor to what was until 1964 my home country, I have watched and marvelled at the growth of the Hantam Community Education Trust. I am delighted that, now, we have a clear and ordered history of how the scheme was envisaged, and how it has developed. Anne Hill’s own intimate vantage place as a trainer and a coach of teachers gives her special insight into the school and its place in the community, and this book should become, not just as history, but a lesson in how development best takes place, not imposed from outside according to a model dreamed up by strangers and imposed by diktat, but thoughtfully worked out, in consultation with the community in which it is based.

‘It is an exciting story, too, and an honest one, because the failures, false starts and misapprehensions along the route have not been ignored, but explained. This is a history in its wider context; the many problems – both before and after apartheid – in South African education, especially in schools, are explicitly addressed, not glossed over.

‘When people express disappointment that post-apartheid South Africa seems to be taking longer than they had hoped to become the sort of society we would all wish for, I tell them always that they should visit the school and its associated ventures. There they would see what may be achieved by combining imagination, energy and commitment with a clear and unsentimental vision, and by using what resources are provided by the state, even when they aren’t enough, then supplementing them with private finance raised with enthusiasm, rather than lamentation about the inadequacy of state provision. The HCET is a triumph of the determination to get things done, rather than to submit to the lethargy of complaint: ‘we must get this done’, rather than ‘they should do something about this’.

‘This book reveals a paradigm of the possibilities, not only in South Africa. I commend it to all readers, not merely to those interested in education, but to anyone concerned about social development; and I congratulate its author as warmly as I praise Lesley Osler, Clare Barnes-Webb, Anja Pienaar, Nombulelo Matyeke, Thembakazi Matera, Lettie Martins, Louis Benjamin, and the many others involved in the project, for what has been achieved, and what will I am sure go on being achieved for even longer than the twenty-five years recorded here.’

The book can be purchased from the HCET at a cost of R120 excluding postage. To order one or more copies, please use our contact form.