The susceptibility to fires at the Primrose informal settlement on the East Rand has seen hundreds of people left homeless. Engen KlevaKidz, an educational campaign that uses industrial theatre to engage with and educate learners about the importance of paraffin safety will be visiting Hawk Academy, 12 Main Reef Road, Primrose, Germiston on 19 November at 10am. Engen Corporate Social Investment Manager, Adhila Hamdulay explains that young children in under-resourced households are often the primary day-time care givers, often looking after their siblings while their parents or guardians are at work. “Without supervision, and uninformed of the multiple dangers associated with using paraffin, children between the ages of 7 and 13 are often vulnerable, and it is these children who are the focus of Engen KlevaKidz,” says Hamdulay. Since its inception in 2008, Engen KlevaKidz has reached over 281 214 learners in 700 schools across South Africa – from rural villages deep in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape to townships in Gauteng, the Western Cape and Free State. Engen KlevaKidz takes the form of an interactive educational stage drama using engaging characters to relay key safety messages in the learners’ mother tongues including Zulu, Sotho, Xhosa and English, combined with jingles to reinforce the theme. Superhero safety educator, Mr Wise is the main character who educates young learners about how to identify and use paraffin safely while interacting with “learners” Bongi and Junior, and urges them to be careful when using paraffin. Stories are used to explain to the learners what to do if paraffin is ingested or inhaled. Mr Wise also focuses on the importance of being clean and washing hands after contact with paraffin, and how to store paraffin safely. “Engen are South Africa’s leading supplier of paraffin through the Laurel Paraffin brand. As a leading provider of petroleum products in South Africa, we take this to heart and are honoured to . . .
Universal Children’s Day is an opportunity to create awareness on the importance of all children, including those living with a disability and to reflect on where society has failed them, says Lusito School principal, Deolinda Molina. “As we celebrate Universal Children’s Day on November 20, let us remember that children are the future leaders of our world and only with our guidance, care, and nurturing, can they positively change our society. Unfortunately, children living with disabilities are often not seen or are forgotten in the eyes of society,” says Molina. The 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities establishes that children with long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments should enjoy the same human rights and freedoms as other children. The Convention further explains, in all actions concerning children with disabilities, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration, with children living with disabilities having the right to express their views freely on all matters affecting them. The purpose of Universal Children’s Day is to highlight the progress being made towards the realisation and promotion of rights of children, whilst the South African government also declared the first Saturday of November as National Children’s Day, aimed at protecting them against abuse and violence. But Molina says the lived reality of children living with disabilities is far from ideal. “Due to the lack of data and research on child disability, not only in this country, but the world as a whole, the creation of effective policies and programmes that could be aimed at bettering the children’s lives is lacking. Add to that the stigma they have to put up with, and lack of infrastructure and resources that make navigating everyday life that much more difficult,” Molina explains. Molina further explains that violence against children has a severe impact on South Africa’s economy. “A report by Save . . .
Afrika Tikkun and the family of activist, Sandi Jacobson, celebrated the progress of the Garden to Kindergarten project on Thursday, 8 November 2018 by way of a harvest lunch, shared with the same early childhood development (ECD) learners that have used the garden as a classroom for the past two months. The programme aims to instil a passion for agriculture from an early age, while ensuring families learn to be food secure in a changing world. Apart from the current political debate about expropriation, the land question in South Africa needs to be considered from three very important perspectives: our communities’ need for food security, ensuring land is economically productive and climate change resilience. It is particularly important that we ensure this going forward for future generations. This is why Afrika Tikkun recently launched its Garden to Kindergarten programme at its Centre in Orange Farm – a peri-urban area south of Johannesburg. The programme is in memory of human rights activist and struggle hero, Sandi Jacobson, who dedicated her life to both early childhood development and vegetable garden skills transfer. Her dreams were devastatingly cut short when she was murdered on 31 October 1997. Now, in her honour, the Garden to Kindergarten programme will see learners aged two to six in Afrika Tikkun’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) classes at Arekopaneng Centre in Orange Farm get involved in the garden. They will learn about the importance of the environment, the lifecycle of plants, how that same fresh produce is part of their daily sustenance and about healthy eating in general. “The aim is to teach children about the principles of organic gardening and the many opportunities in agriculture," explains Project Coordinator Tim Abaa, "Ultimately, the vision is to stir up a passion for agriculture as a career path. Most youngsters see farming as something that is menial and doesn’t pay well, but there are many career paths in farming. . . .
Solving the education-to-employment dilemma - By Ebrahim Matthews, Managing Director at Pearson South Africa In order to find employment after matric, learners need to be empowered with relevant skills. These can only be delivered via close collaboration between the schools, the public and private sectors. South Africa is facing an unemployment crisis largely due to the lack of relevant and adequate skills among the country’s youth. Simply put, the youth are not equipped to find employment and make a success of their careers. At present, the local unemployment rate sits at around 27% and direr is the youth unemployment (those aged 15 to 34) at over 38%. This is according to Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) however, it is worth noting that the education-to-employment issue is not unique to our country. A report put out by McKinsey & Company indicated that 27% of European employers could not fill a vacancy due to a lack of skilled applicants. The report also indicates that 74% of European educators believed they were providing learners with the necessary skills required to find employment, however, that sentiment was not shared by youths and employers alike. Back home, solving this problem will not be easy, and requires greater collaboration between government, industry, education providers, educators and learners. Our education system needs to develop into an ecosystem specifically designed to prepare the youth to find employment. Meaningful dialogue is also needed in order to discover what skills are required for each industry. Once these are identified, syllabus must be adapted to deliver these skills in a relevant manner. Teachers will also need additional training to enable them to deliver the work in a way that will excite and help learners to learn. The private sector can get involved by providing the additional training teachers may require. It is critical that teachers begin to relate subject matter back to real world examples, so that . . .
Engen computer school students writing their final assessments got an unexpected boost when alumnus Siyabonga Cele arrived to share the good news that he had secured a job at King Shaka International Airport – only because he’d undergone exactly the same training. Cele’s timely arrival offered the July group of students valuable encouragement and motivation, according to Sheryl Casalis, co-director of Added Advantage Academy, which provides the training at Engen’s Community Computer Training Centre in South Durban. Without the computer literacy training, which equips students with introductory-level computer skills covering nine units of the National Certificate in Information Technology: End User Computing, Cele would never have been eligible to apply for the screen monitor post, an excited Casalis pointed out. “It was such encouragement and motivation for those students finishing up their course to meet a past learner who is now employed as a result of the course they are now completing,” she said. Cele is among almost 300 graduates who have secured employment thanks to the free computer training which is transforming lives in the South Durban community, where the classes have been run by Added Advantage Academy since 2009, educating about 1821 graduates. The objective is to instil students across the age spectrum with the confidence and knowledge to secure jobs for which they would previously not have been eligible, with Engen spending more than R1.6 million annually on two four-month courses for 80 people each. Other alumni who have secured jobs include Khonziwe Buthelezi, who was a waitress at a fast food chain when she started the course. Today she works for Tsogo Sun and says she’s “proud to say thank you Engen, I’m here because of you”. After attending the course in 2011, alumnus Cele Zwelihle landed a job as a security officer/CCTV operator for the Department of Justice. “Computer literacy was one of the requirements for the position,” . . .
The African Presidential Leadership Center (APLC) Chairman Ambassador Charles Stith in partnership with the SkX Executive Chairman Abel Dlamini hosted the CEO’s roundtable breakfast, held on the 30th October at the iconic Four Seasons Hotel Westcliff, Johannesburg, the theme “Toward A Continental Strategy for Education Excellence”. The roundtable speakers included Former President of South Africa HE Kgalema Motlanthe, Former President of Tanzania HE Jakaya Kikwete, Former Prime Minister of Kenya HE Raila Odinga. The insights and sentiments echoed by the Former Heads of State included the importance of cross continental collaboration, better private-public partnerships to enhance the education system, getting Africa ready to leapfrog into the Fourth Industrial Revolution also know Industry 4.0 and investing in Early Childhood Development. “In an increasingly high-tech global economy an educated populous is critical to nations being able to compete and its citizens being able to prosper;" this was the answer provided by APLC Board Chairman Ambassador Charles Stith as to why the upcoming African Presidential Roundtable on education is necessary. South Africa as well as the rest of the African continent have missed the opportunity to maximise and become active economic participants in the three previous industrial revolutions due to colonisation of the African countries, and extended inequality and oppression of apartheid in South Africa. According to the World Economic Forum Africa 2017, The Fourth Industrial Revolution will assist African economies to grow and become sustainable, even though there are many challenges that face the continent such as high levels of poverty, inequality, unemployment, ethical leadership and governance. The Youth on the African continent make-up a large portion of the African population and therefore youth need to be at the centre of the Fourth Industrial Revolution where governments provide the right policies and conducive . . .
Parklands’ teachers and students awarded for revolutionising education in the classroom Johannesburg, 6 November 2018 — iStore South Africa and Think Ahead last week presented the annual Excellence in Education Awards 2018. The prestigious Excellence in Education Awards event is the vehicle for educators and students to creatively explore using Apple technology and bring the curriculum to life in classrooms. The awards aim to acknowledge the need for classroom practices to adapt to the changing world, and this year more than 500 entries were received from schools across South Africa. Michelle Lissoos, Managing Director at Think Ahead, presented the judges in each of the categories, and announced the runners-up and winners in each category. She commented, “Education needs to change to meet the demands of the world in which we work, live and learn. We need to ensure we develop skills such as creativity, critical problem solving and collaboration. The Excellence in Education Awards promotes and celebrates this critical educational shift.” Richard Knaggs, Director of Technology Innovation at Parklands College, added, “Thank you for your contribution to South African education by promoting excellence in educational technology through the Excellence in Education competition. I believe it is a platform that motivates teachers to make a real difference in the lives of the children they touch. It was an honour to have our learners and teachers recognised.” Parklands College won the following categories: 1. Curriculum Challenge, Gr 8 – 9, with their video “Unity in Community” (watch it here https://youtu.be/BIa3pP8vMJs) 2. Curriculum Challenge, Gr 10 – 12, with their video “Venus Flytrap” (watch it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRnP1_ENzo4) The Curriculum Challenge gave teachers and students the freedom to apply creativity across any area of the curriculum, subjects and cross-curricular projects achieving various learning objectives. Parklands . . .
Private-public partnerships may significantly help implement key infrastructure projects in our education system. The partnership between the Free State Department of Education and Kagiso Shanduka Trust (KST) is a celebrated case in point. KST itself is a collaboration between Kagiso Trust and Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation (which had its genesis as Shanduka Foundation) that draws on the best practices of their respective Whole School Development programmes to create a unique district-based educational intervention in the Free State. The partnership is rooted in an integrated District Whole School Development approach to address a range of key education development needs, such as infrastructure development, curriculum development, social development and leadership in schools, with districts as implementing agencies in the Fezile Dabi and Motheo districts. Infrastructure development is a key part of KST’s District Whole School Development programme and is awarded to schools based on two categories, basic infrastructure and incentivised infrastructure. The provision of infrastructure is preceded by a thorough school’s needs analysis, which determines what facilities are either built or renovated. Basic Infrastructure Refers to the building or renovation of ablution blocks and classrooms, perimeter fencing and the provision of desks and chairs. All programme schools receive basic infrastructure where it is required and where it is not already being provided by government. Incentive infrastructure Refers to facilities such as science laboratories, libraries, computer centres, maths centres, multi-media centres and sports facilities. Schools that perform above the target that has been set by the Free State Department of Education, qualify for incentive infrastructure projects. Schools in the Fezile Dabi district that received infrastructure at the handover ceremony include SHS Mofube Primary School who received two classrooms that were built and . . .
Matatiele, Eastern Cape – Over the last six years the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC), in partnership with the Adopt-a-School (AAS) Foundation, has invested over R102 million towards uplifting and supporting 30 schools throughout South Africa. Yesterday, at Zamokuhle Junior Secondary School in Matatiele, Adopt-a-School Foundation will be launching Whole School Development projects in partnership with the IDC and Wipro Technologies and the Nelson Mandela Foundation at Schools in the Eastern Cape. The launch celebrates progress made in the five adopted schools in Eastern Cape, where the IDC has invested over R20 million in upgrading facilities at these schools including the construction of a library in honour of the Nelson Mandela 100-year centenary. AAS implements a unique, holistic approach when supporting schools, called the Whole School Development (WSD) model. This mechanism aims to improve and uplift the academic, infrastructural, social and security environments in adopted schools. WSD ensures that schools have the necessary management and community leadership to support an environment conducive to excellence in both teaching and learning. The five Eastern Cape schools supported by the partnership are Siwali Secondary School in Lusikisiki, Zamokuhle Junior Secondary School, Maraizell Secondary School and Tholang High School in Matatiele, and Nkonkwana Primary School in WillowVale. All five schools received significant infrastructural support and training. “The IDC’s main priority in CSI investment lies in education. Through our partnership with Adopt-a-School, we have been able to improve the quality of education in selected schools and today we celebrate the success of our investment” says Tebogo Molefe, Head of CSI at the IDC. “We are thrilled with the progress made at all the secondary schools we have invested in over the past five years,” added Molefe “The matric pass rate at the IDC schools we support has improved and that . . .
Johannesburg, 31 October 2018 — iStore South Africa and Think Ahead last week presented the annual Excellence in Education Awards 2018, which celebrate South African schools using Apple technology to transform teaching and learning. As the year 2018 marks a major milestone in the incredible story of Nelson Mandela – his centenary – the awards this year introduced a special category to honour Madiba. This category provided students the opportunity to honour the Mandela legacy by applying creativity to the theme of #RememberingMandela. Students were challenged to submit a two-minute video that must be innovative, creative and passionate. Zelda La Grange, Nelson Mandela’s personal assistant, judging the Gr 0 – 3 and Gr 4 – 7 categories, commented, “I was very honoured to have judged this category, and was so impressed with all the video entries that were submitted. It was so inspirational to watch!” The winners in the Gr 0 – 3 category: • First place: St Mary’s School, Waverley (watch the winning video here) • Second place: St Katherine’s School • Third place: St Mary’s School, Waverley The winners in the Grade 4 – 7 category: • First place: Clarence Primary School (watch the winning video here) • Second place: Parklands College • Third place: Herbert Hurd Primary School Brent Lindeque, Editor, Good Things Guy, was the judge in the Grade 8 – 12 category, and said, “It has been a privilege and an honour to be part of the Excellence in Education awards. I watched a lot of videos, and I have seen a lot of talent! Seeing the creativity and hearing the messages from the students has reminded me that this young generation will go on to do amazing things.” The winners in the Gr 8 – 12 category: • First place: Sibusisiwe Comprehensive Technical High School (watch the winning video here) • Second place: Ephes Mamkeli Secondary School • Third place: Ephes Mamkeli Secondary School CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .