Education in organisations is different from school education. Schools mostly train students to understand a subject well enough to pass an exam. Schools also deal with young people and usually teaches them information that is new to them.
The education work organisations do for members, or for the community, is very different. The goal is usually to empower people so that they can become active contributors to the process of change. Internal education helps members to understand and contribute to the work of the organisation. Community education communicates information or campaign messages and can be used to empower, mobilise and organise people.
Education programmes can help your organisation to:
- Introduce new members to your policies and programmes and help them to decide what work they would like to do in the organisation.
- Teach members the skills that will make it possible for them to do their tasks and contribute to the organisation's programme
- Help members to understand the causes of the problems they face, so that they can take part in deciding how the organisation should deal with the problems.
- Enable members to participate in the democratic process of debate and decision making;
- Give members and leaders the skills they need to run the organisation (e.g. planning skills, chairing skills, skills for working on a committee);
- Develop a clear understanding among the members of the theory that guides the organisation ( e.g. political or economic theory)
In the broader community you work in, education programmes can be used to:
- Communicate information to people about their legal rights –for example farmworkers and evictions
- Involve people in learning about and discussing processes that affect them – for example a housing development
- Involve people in debates around national issues such as crime or racism.
- Raise awareness about an issue or campaign your organisation is involved in – for example HIV and AIDS.
- Teach people concrete skills – for example literacy programmes or brick-making.
- Mobilise people to become involved in action – for example neighbourhood watch training.