“Everyone who remembers his own education remembers teachers, not methods and techniques. The teacher is the heart of the educational system.” Sidney Hook, philosopher It’s World Teachers Day 2017 (on 5 October) and Tsogo Sun, which has education as the primary focus of its CSI programmes, is recognising the committed and hard-working educators around the country who strive – often against the odds – to give their learners the best chance for a successful future. Shanda Paine, Tsogo Sun’s Group CSI Manager, says, “Our work with is primarily with school learners – in leadership development programmes, in career guidance and job readiness, in chess, in life skills development, in soccer, in environmental initiatives, and more – but we know that without the input, support, dedication, and special efforts by the educators, our programmes would not be nearly as effective.” She adds that their role goes way beyond teaching the curriculum. “Their discipline and conduct, the life lessons they impart, and their listening and communication skills with the learners, all make a huge difference in how learners learn and grow in their own conduct and attitudes.” The success of Tsogo Sun’s numerous initiatives within disadvantaged schools around the country are greatly dependent on how the principals and educators support, and present them to the learners. “Because of their their participation and commitment, we are able to work together to impact on the lives of the learners and their future. For this reason, we salute and acknowledge the often unappreciated and extremely demanding role that they play in producing the next generation of educated, principled, hard-working, and great leaders.” Educator Mali Ntombi, Life Orientation and isiZulu educator at Mandisa Shiceka High School in Kagiso on the West Rand, which has been part of the Tsogo Sun-sponsored Columba Leadership programme, learned from the programme that “treating learners better, not judging them, . . .
Polyflor SA recently assisted Cape Town-based Noero Architects with an installation of a 624 m² floor at Wynberg Girls’ High School (WGHS) as part of an innovative expansion project at the school. Founded in 1884, this beautiful and historic school is situated in the shadows of Table Mountain has once again proven why it is renowned for offering excellent facilities and its ability to embrace change. We need to grow… but where to? According to Uno Pereira of Noero Architects, the school needed to add additional classrooms in order to meet the demands of a growing school. Previously, they were told that the only way to build eight new classrooms was to add an extra floor onto the two side existing banks of classrooms. This, however, would obliterate the view of the Table Mountain range from the courtyard and paralyze the use of eight classrooms below the new classrooms during construction, creating havoc with the school’s timetable. Noero Architects suggested an alternative to this option. After much deliberation, they presented a novel solution by creating a “street” between existing classrooms and the new ones on either side of the court that allowed for the adding of two new wings of four classrooms. Each wing was placed to either side of the court at ground level. Classrooms for the future “The school’s headmaster, Shirley Harding, wanted us to start imagining what the classroom of the future would be like. To this end, she allowed us to hold a series of workshops with the teachers and students to understand how the classroom environment and teaching methods have changed and what new possibilities await us as we embrace new technologies and rethink how learning can happen in these new spaces,” Uno explains. The newly built classrooms were covered with earth for environmental and climatic reasons – resulting in a new inclined planted courtyard and which offers even better views of the mountain range. The increased size of the courtyard and the . . .
The annual Engen KlevaKidz campaign which engages with and educates learners about the importance of paraffin safety launched in the Western Cape on October 13th and runs until the end of the month. Over the course of three weeks, Engen KlevaKidz will travel to 30 primary schools in the Khayelitsha and Strand area. Engen KlevaKidz takes the form of an interactive educational stage drama relaying key safety messages – in the learners’ mother tongues - combined with a jingle to reinforce the theme. Over the past few months, the KlevaKidz roadshow has already travelled to the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. Since its inception in 2008, Engen KlevaKidz has reached over 145 000 learners in 436 schools across South Africa – from rural villages deep in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape to townships in Gauteng. In partnership with The Communication Firm, the travelling industrial theatre show features engaging characters who deliver important safety messages. In this year’s show, Mr Wise is the super hero and main character who educates young learners about how to identify and use paraffin safely. Mr Wise interacts with 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 being in contact with paraffin, and how to store paraffin safely. Prizes, including super hero masks and funnels, will be handed out to all learners. This is because the learners are all heroes who have the inner strength and ability to take care of themselves, says Engen Corporate Social Investment Manager, Mntu Nduvane. “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 . . .
Uitenhage, 13 October 2017 – “I was the smartest kid in my school and that made me popular. I worked hard every day. If you want a certain life for yourself you must work for it, prepare for it,” said Itumeleng Sekhu during her visit to schools in Kwanobuhle, Uitenhage. Sovereign Foods and Khulisa a non-profit organization, arranged that Sekhu, a burn survivor, deliver an inspirational talk at schools recently. Sekhu visited Solomon Mahlangu High School, Nkululeko Secondary School and the Ithembalethu Project for children with special needs. Sovereign paid for flights, accommodation, books donated to the learners and food parcels for the matrics at Nkululeko Secondary School who went on a study camp. Sovereign also hand out food vouchers to different beneficiaries in the Uitenhage area on a monthly basis. Thuto Maepa, Sovereign Foods Group Executive Human Resources, said working with the schools was very important for the organization. “I want you to know how important you are to us. You must work hard and follow your dreams,” Maepa said at Nkululelo Senior Secondary School. As part of Sovereign Foods’ Corporate Social Investment (CSI) mandate they focus on uplifting communities and assisting with educational programmes and other socio - economic programmes. Sekhu told the learner that her scars were visible. “My scars are external, most people are hiding their internal scars. I am not ashamed of myself. I’m so confident now. Before I cried myself to sleep but now I go in front of people so that they can ask me what happened.” Sekhu was burnt by a candle when she was 11 months old. Her right hand as well as four fingers on her left hand are amputated. This did not deter her from reaching her dreams she told her predominantly teenage audience. She has had a successful career in radio and television for the past six years and published her book What do you see? last year. “I grew up with low self-esteem as 90% of my face is literary scarred. . . .
For the third year running, Engen participated in the Mayoral Charity Golf Day at the Port Elizabeth Golf Club, and contributed R100 000 to the Community Chest. Held on 6 October, the 12th Mayoral Charity Golf Day was spearheaded by the Mark Headbush Foundation, in partnership with the Community Chest and Nelson Mandela Metro. The proceeds raised from this charity Golf Day are set to make a meaningful difference in the education space in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan area, playing a small part in helping to build a better future for children aged 5 to 10. Engen contributed R100 000 to the Community Chest which will be utilised to make a meaningful difference in the education space of the most deprived children. “At Engen we are very passionate about education which is why our Engen Maths and Science Saturday Schools (EMSS) have for over three decades, seen thousands of successful graduates, benefit from the programme,” says Engen’s Corporate Social Investment Manager, Mntu Nduvane. Engen Maths and Science Saturday Schools provides supplementary classes in Maths, Science and English in four provinces across South Africa. Scholars from grades 10-12 attend free classes every Saturday at 4 centres in KwaZulu-Natal, 3 in the Eastern Cape and one in both the Western Cape and Gauteng. “Our EMSS are central to our efforts to contribute to the growth and transformation of our country. The programme has worked tirelessly to transform young lives and has made a useful contribution to a more transformed and vibrant workforce,” adds Nduvane. EMSS respond to and recognises the need we have in our country for more engineers and technical experts in the petrochemical industry. Through its support of EMSS, Engen is committed to addressing this critical skills shortage and helping to build a prosperous, future skilled workforce. Nduvane says that in a country where hope can often be circumscribed through poverty and dire socio-economic circumstances, every . . .
The Wired for Life project, which provides students and teachers with access to cutting edge education technology, is well on its way to impacting 80,000 classrooms and empowering 1 million learners across the province. As South Africa celebrated World Teacher Day on 5 October, it is critical to draw attention to leaders and companies that are working to strengthen and uplift the country’s embattled education system. One such leader is Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, who has made it his mission to ensure that Gauteng learners and teachers are equipped with tools that will allow them to succeed in a rapidly digitizing, tech-driven world. “We need to be a part of what is termed the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’,” says Lesufi. “It’s about robots, it’s about driverless cars, it’s about coding, and our learners need to be part of that world. I want them to be a part of global innovation.” Having realised that local schools and classrooms lacked the facilities and access to digital content and tools that would propel them into a competitive marketplace, Lesufi sought an education technology provider with an innovative and accessible solution. After researching and considering a number of technology partners, he chose VastraTech, the South African distributor of SMART Technologies. In partnership with VastraTech and SMART, Lesufi launched Wired for Life, a programme that aims to provide every learner with a tablet, every teacher with a laptop, and every classroom with a SMART Board. “I travelled across the world to explore and determine where the world is [with education],”says Lesufi. “I was at an expo in London, and I went through lots of products. When I saw the SMART product I said, ‘this is what I want.’” Lesufi emphasizes that he recognised that SMART would provide a solution which could essentially ‘grow’ with South African learners, and that would be sustainable in the long term. “MEC have chosen SMART and VastraTech as partners because . . .
It’s the end of the year and people are gearing up for their December breaks – even though it’s only October. Productivity is at an all-time low and your employees will take any chance that they can get in order to get a bit of free time off. Enter sick leave abuse. We’re sure that you’re encountered this problem in your company which is why this 30-minute webinar, which is entirely complimentary, will give you a few key pointers about how to ensure that sick leave is not abused in your company. On Wednesday 11 October, labour lawyer Dave Pattle will present a 30-minute webinar about what steps that you can take to prevent sick leave abuse in your company. Specifically, he’ll look at: - Best practices that can be applied to curb leave abuse as well as what other methods employers are using to curb leave abuse. - What are labour law provisions in terms of leave. What the medical profession requires in terms of its own rules. We encourage you to forward this e-mail onto anyone who may be interested and for more updates on labour law, HR and IR - as well as how these impact your business - sign up to our newsletter: http://eepurl.com/gLm75. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
5 October 2017 – PRETORIA – ITSI, the pioneering e-learning provider which enhances and simplifies the teaching and learning experience for both students and educators, was last night awarded the Supplier of the Year Award in the category for Basic Education at the annual EduWeek awards. The award was handed to Wikus Breetzke, Head of Sales, ITSI in the prestigious award ceremony and dinner, held at Pigalle Restaurant in Green Point, Cape Town on 4 October. The EduWeek awards recognise excellence across the African education ecosystem. From the inception of the most innovative and life-changing products and/or services to local heroes who go above and beyond to assist their communities and the lives of learners. ITSI’s platform provides a unique way of simplifying, enhancing and unifying a single point of entry for teachers and learners – irrespective of the origin and variety of content and actions they employ in order to achieve mastery. It has the additional advantage of making learner activities, such as engagement with textbooks, visible and transparent to teachers and parents. The ITSI platform works within any education environment, with any content, on any device. It provides an easy to adopt approach to 21st century teaching and learning, without sacrificing the rigour associated with traditional teaching and learning. Dr Lieb Liebenberg, founder and CEO at ITSI, commented, “We are delighted to have been honoured with this award. The teaching environment is increasingly fragmented in terms of the content and activities which teachers need to employ. The fragmentation stems from teachers having to use textbooks from different publishers, a variety of other printed and online resources, and a range of educational apps – the vast majority of which operate in silos. This is what we strive to overcome.” CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Overjoyed at their unexpected success, the ten young pupils who make up Nkanyezi Primary School’s first-ever reading club, Siyafunda, happily accepted the shield announcing their first-place win at the Story Powered Schools interschool-reading-club competition at the Ekuvukeni Community Hall in Uthukela. Competing against reading clubs from across 12 other primary schools in the second and final round, adjudicators said the level of competition was unexpectedly high, given that this is the first year the contest has been run. “The confidence in the children and the passion in their teachers shows a lot of what is happening back at the schools. This is remarkable and certainly not what we were expecting,” commented Nontobeko Dlamini, a development practitioner and member of the Uthukela District Municipality. Not only were the clubs scored on their dedication to reading, writing and storytelling over the year, they were asked to put together displays of their creative work including examples of their writing and drawing; favourite isiZulu and English books; and give literacy-related performances to demonstrate their typical reading-club activities too. Said Miss Hlatshwayo, a teacher at Nkanyezi Primary School and leader of the winning club: “We did not expect to win! We started the clubs in earlier in the year – it was our first one and it has been a group effort between myself, my colleagues and the community members that support us. But, really, it has been the children who have turned reading into a lifestyle. Their thirst for reading and stories in unstoppable!” Established by the national Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign’s school’s project, Story Powered Schools, to help root a culture of reading for joy in rural primary schools, the contest is also being run in Ugu, and in Mbizana and Maluti in the Eastern Cape. Research has shown a direct link between reading for pleasure and children’s school success with children who read on a . . .
In honour of Heritage Month, Tsogo Sun’s Gold Reef City and Apartheid Museum hosted a full three-hour tour of the museum on 26 September for 115 Grade 9 learners and four educators from Johannesburg Secondary School in Homestead Park, to help them gain insight into the country’s history. Gold Reef City (https://www.tsogosun.com/gold-reef-city-casino), which supports the Apartheid Museum (a not for profit Public Benefit Company), in collaboration with the Department of Education and the museum, have been hosting groups of 60 to 120 Grade 9 learners and their educators per visit from local Johannesburg schools on a weekly and now twice-weekly basis since 2011, as the apartheid years form a significant part of the Grade 9 curriculum. The museum is experienced as a beacon of hope for the country, demonstrating how South Africa is coming to terms with its discriminatory past and working towards a truly liberated future for all South Africans. Wayde Davy, Deputy Director of the Apartheid Museum, welcomes the ongoing school tours of the museum and thanks Tsogo Sun for its ongoing support. She adds, “It’s important for all South Africans to visit the museum, to learn about our history. This will help us understand the present and why it is the way that it is – and pave a way towards the future, ensuring that the pitfalls of the past are not repeated. Schools are given a tour of the museum which relates to the particular curriculum that they are busy with and gives them a visual and in-depth idea of what apartheid was like.” Shanda Paine, Tsogo Sun’s Group CSI Manager, says, “With education at the heart of Tsogo Sun’s far-reaching CSI programme, sponsoring these visits to the Apartheid Museum to help learners gain a stronger understanding of the country’s past and how it impacts the present and even the future is an essential part of their learning.” Over the years, thousands of Grade 9 learners, many from disadvantaged schools, have visited the museum in the . . .