Corporate Social Investment
 

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Boost for schools

The Industrial Development Corporation has teamed up with Adopt-A-School and the Basic Education Department to help 20 selected schools over the next five years.

March 11, 2013

IDC CEO Geoffrey Qhena launches the Whole School Development ProgrammeIDC CEO Geoffrey Qhena launches the Whole School Development ProgrammeThe government's call for big business to support education is being answered: the IDC and the Adopt-A-School Foundation has adopted 20 schools for five years.

Adopt-A-School is a non-profit organisation set up to correct the inequalities and inadequacies in South Africa's rural and disadvantaged schools. This partnership is between the two organisations and the Department of Basic Education. The campaign was launched at the IDC offices in Sandton on 8 March.

A splendid relationship

Speaking at the launch, Geoffrey Qhena, the IDC's chief executive, said: "Today marks the continuation of our relationship with the Department of Basic Education. In 2007, we adopted 30 Dinaledi Schools and since then we have awarded over 270 bursaries to previously disadvantaged pupils."

Dinaledi Schools are schools that are supported by the department to improve significantly the participation and performance of pupils in mathematics and physical science. The ultimate aim is to increase the number of students entering the engineering and information and communication technology fields.

Of the 20 schools, 16 were in rural areas, Qhena said, and R80-million had been earmarked for their adoption over the five years.

Cyril Ramaphosa, the chairman of Shanduka Group, custodian of the Adopt-A-School Foundation, said: "We at Adopt-A-School prefer to do the work and then talk about it later … We are very pleased that the IDC chose to partner with us as they are not a newcomer to doing work in education and we have watched them from the sidelines in awe of their work, especially with the Dinaledi Schools."

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshegka and Cyril Ramaphosa from Adopt-A-School FoundationBasic Education Minister Angie Motshegka and Cyril Ramaphosa from Adopt-A-School FoundationThe 20 schools are:

  • Siwali High School, Eastern Cape;
  • Tholang Senior Secondary School, Eastern Cape;
  • Mariazell High School, Eastern Cape;
  • Bizimali Secondary School, KwaZulu-Natal;
  • Welabasha High School, KwaZulu-Natal;
  • Atlantis Secondary School, Western Cape;
  • Thandokhulu High School, Western Cape;
  • Monwabisi High School, Northern Cape;
  • Kgomotso High School, Northern Cape;
  • Kgabareng Technical High School, Free State;
  • Ngwathe Secondary School, Free State;
  • Zikhethele Secondary School, Gauteng;
  • Moses Maren Technical High School, Gauteng;
  • Boithaopo High School, North West;
  • Setswakgosing High School, North West;
  • Tshivhase Secondary School, Limpopo;
  • Phagamang Secondary School, Limpopo;
  • Glen Cowie, Limpopo;
  • Lehlasedi High School, Mpumalanga; and
  • Makhosana Manzini High School, Mpumalanga.


It was fulfilling to see the IDC respond to the government's call for big business to help improve the quality and delivery of education, Ramaphosa added. "We hope other businesses follow the IDC's example because just like the fall of apartheid, we need to work together to make education a success."

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The IDC has launched a Whole School Development Programme which will assist chosen schools with proper governance.
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The foundation undertook a detailed needs analysis of schools, and it found among other things that 50 percent had no science laboratories; 61 percent had no libraries; all had infrastructure inadequacies; and, half didn't get a 50 percent matric pass rate.

"I'd like to acknowledge the Department of Basic Education and the commitment of the minister to improving our education. We as Shanduka the business and as the foundation are committed to supporting the department," said Ramaphosa.

Nedlac Accord on Basic Education

Angie Motshekga, the minister of basic education, explained: "Today means a lot to me as we take to another level our partnership between my department and the IDC. Today's partnership flows from the Nedlac Accord on Basic Education partnership with schools."

Under the accord, education role players, stakeholders and social partners commit their organisations to support the drive to achieve quality teaching and learning in South Africa. The main aim of the accord is for businesses to adopt a school and to provide directed support to help with their adopted school's challenges.

A total of 20 schools will benefit from the Whole School Development ProgrammeA total of 20 schools will benefit from the Whole School Development ProgrammeThe accord was officially signed in July 2011 at the Union Buildings, in Pretoria, by leaders of organised labour; Business Unity South Africa; community constituencies present in Nedlac and the minister of basic education on behalf of the government. "I believe the IDC made the right decision when it approved in November 2011 a revised [corporate social investment] educational focus supporting an inclusive intervention targeting selected schools throughout the country in support of the accord," said Motshekga.

Nedlac, the National Economic Development and Labour Council, is the vehicle by which the government, labour, business and community organisations work together.

The minister urged the leadership, teachers and pupils of the 20 selected schools to make much of this investment by the IDC. "Your conduct and how you respond to this helping hand will greatly determine whether other equally deserving schools receive a helping hand from other institutions and from the business sector."

Ella Matlejoane, the principal of Moses Maren Technical High in Eikenhof, Gauteng, said: "Our school was built through donations so the infrastructure is not up to date; that's why we approached Shanduka to help us out. We don't have science labs and libraries so this will definitely help."

The school has 1 039 pupils and 34 teachers. Matlejoane said: "The teacher/pupil ratio is fine but the problem is class overcrowding due to the school's build. It is not up to the department's standards as we built it from donations."

Sello Leshabela, the principal of Phagamang Secondary School in Bochum, Limpopo, said: "We have a serious problem of lack of infrastructure. We have dilapidated classrooms and we have no toilets."

The school has 407 pupils and 12 teachers. Leshabela was pleased with developments, and felt that the priority was to get proper classrooms and toilets to bring back dignity to the pupils and teachers.

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