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2013

Oprah Winfreys Dream School for impoverished south


African Girls

MBANUGO
IFEANYI
CASE STUDY
9/14/2013

Oprah Winfrey's Dream School


Introduction
Summary
Oprah Winfreys leadership dream school for the impoverished southern
African girls is a learning institution that was founded by Oprah Winfrey in South
Africa for the sole purpose of offering education to the disadvantaged girls in South
Africa who could otherwise not be able to do so because of the poverty level in the
country. Motivated by her childhood experiences where she faced brutality, sexual
harassment and even rape, Oprah was determined to leave a mark in the girls in
South Africa by opening a state of the art learning institution where the
underprivileged girls would get the leadership and educational skills. Despite her
philanthropic contribution she has faced various criticisms by various leaders in
regards to the school ranging from the motive of opening the leadership school, the
management, operations and the reasons why she could not target more girls. The
leadership dream school for the impoverished Southern African girls has faced
numerous critical challenges including
Management problems

The management of the school did not educate the public on the importance
of the school in their society.
The school only takes care of the girl child overlooking the boy child needs.
The school only focuses on a significant number of girls and did not address
the plight of the society.
Other problems
The process of selecting the girls was not the best.
The attendance of the famous musicians, personality and the filmmakers did
not portray
an academic setting
The visitation policy was a biased policy as it separated the girls from the
society.
The management does not mind the exposure of the girls to the community
where they belong so that they may cultivate a positive mentality of working
hard to help the society.
Critical Analytic Tasks/Results
For one to be able to make solid conclusions regarding the critical issues that
the school faces, a qualitative and quantitative analysis framework ought to be
employed. This include finding information through surveys and questionnaires that

will indicate the possible problems that the parties believe to be present.
Quantitative analysis involves the assumption that one will be able to ascertain the
number of girls enrolled in the school and the community representation. The
researcher needs to talk to the girls parents, the community and the school
administration to give information on where various information can be obtained
from.

Recommendations

Management
Since the management of the school did not involve the society in decision
making when starting the school, they should educate the public on the importance
of creating such a school and the benefits that it would bring to the society. The
management should also inform the public of the need to educate their children in a
safe environment where they would be able to feel relaxed when learning.

Other problems
The school management would have collaborated with the local educational
institutions so that the neediest, bright and those with leadership qualities could be
identified. At the same time, the leadership school should have invited scholars and
other academicians during the opening session so that they could give the girls
advice on the best educational tips instead of entertaining them. The method that
the school used to cater for those visiting was not ethical. They should have
informed the parents of their intention so that the parents could be psychologically
prepared of the visitation requirements. The best approach that the school could
have employed was informing the society of their intention so that awareness could
be enhanced between the school and the community.

Answers to Case Questions


Is there an equivalent need to educate South African boys? Explain.
Both boys and girls have been facing discrimination, abuses and other child
abuses in South Africa. Though apartheid ended, the difference between the haves
and the have-nots still remains and depicts a great disparity between the poor and
the rich. This being the case, the plight and the need of the boys also ought to be
looked at. One wonders whether, if Oprah was a man, she could have helped the
girls and not the boys. She only looked at the side that related to her childhood
experiences as the case study indicated. The boys dropped out of school because of

discrimination and engaged in antisocial activities. This therefore indicates an


equivalent need to educate the boy child so that the world in future will comprises
of a breed of responsible young people.
Analyze Oprahs selection criteria for admission. Are these appropriate
indicators of success? Explain.

The selection of the girls who would join the Oprah Winfreys leadership
dream school for the impoverished southern African girls comprised of
selecting girls from the disadvantaged families who had the academic and
leadership potential. The criterion used could not have been an appropriate
indicator of success because, there are some girls who might not have
received the information and yet could have qualified for the program. At the
same time, some girls could have done the exam under stress thus not
meeting the standards at the same time, the girls might have become
nervous during discussions thus failing the leadership section. This therefore
would have resulted to a biased selection criterion. Those people in the
background would have given better information concerning the girls and
this would have been more appropriate if the local leaders and teachers were
included in the selection process.
Is the school too extravagant as some believe? Why or why not?
Based on the poverty level of the country, and the amount of money used to
construct the school, the school is too extravagant. This is because $ 40 million
could have been used to cater for neediest students than those that the school
targeted. The installed items? The paintings? And the fireplace? All these are
luxurious to the simple girls who lived below poverty level.
Describe the schools visitation policy? Is this appropriate? Why or why
not?
The schools visitation policy required the girls to be visited monthly by only
one person. The visiting person had to get permission approved to be able to visit
the girl and this had to be done two weeks before the actual visiting day. There was
also a set time that the parent or the person visiting had to stay with the girl. This
method of visitation was not appropriate because it used to cut off the links
between the child and the family/society. At the same time, allowing only one
person to visit the girl denied the girls to meet their family. This was likely to create
emotional problems with either the girls or the family. The best approach would
have been allowing the girls to be visited may be once per term by the family
members so that they could be given support and encouragement by the members
of the family.
Overall, is celebrity based philanthropy helpful or harmful? Explain.

Celebrity based philanthropy may be good at times and bad at other times.
This is because some do so just for publicity purposes. Others include political and
personal reasons. All in all many projects by celebrities are helpful as it can create a
liaison between the organization and the public thus bringing in fan base and
supporters. This may lead to the organization being known to the public and may
also help in making positive marks in the lives of many through the celebrity
foundation like the Clintons foundation.
Why is this case being discussed in an entrepreneurship course?
The case is being discussed in an entrepreneurship course because it is
talking about a business woman (Oprah) who has undertaken a business endeavors
in South Africa to start a leadership school. An entrepreneur is that person who
undertakes to operate an undertaking taking on financial risk to do so. The fact that
people are employed, business is transacted in the process of buying and selling
makes it an entrepreneurial undertaking.