There needs to be a creation of value in South Africa’s education sector, says Kagiso Trust Chairman Reverend Frank Chikane.
Chikane, speaking at the 30th anniversary of the NGO, added that this is the area in which the trust aims to assist government.
“Government has tried to put the best policies, best programmes [in place] but it’s still not achieving the objective it set itself to achieve. The budget for education in this country, you can’t complain about it – there’s money – but in terms of the value produced out of it, it’s a problem,” he told CNBCafrica.com.
“As Kagiso Trust, we are here to assist government, because this challenge is huge, to achieve their objectives, and therefore help the poor and the marginalised.”
Kagiso Trust, South Africa’s oldest NGO, recently ran a transformational pilot programme to aid in the development of the country’s public schools.
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“What we do is to go to a province and reach an agreement with the provincial administration, and the MEC in particular, to say this is the poorest area, this is where you’ve got the lowest performance – assist us to bring those schools to a higher level of performance,” Chikane said.
“The programme focuses on motivation – getting the teachers, the principal to subscribe to it, parents, reflecting on the school, identifying the problems and why they are not performing and what needs to be done to perform. There is capacity-building for the teachers, motivation with the children.”
Chikane also stated that the trust ensures that infrastructure is up to par at the schools because the students must have the basics.
“Within that period of a year, two, three years, the school performs at 90 something per cent. It’s happening in an ordinary public school in a township, that they can actually get 100 per cent pass rates and for me, that’s what Kagiso Trust has succeeded to do,” he added.
“We can now roll out this model to the rest of the country. Of course, it will depend on the partnerships that we create with the different provincial administrations. We also don’t just talk to the province and a school, we now take a district so we make sure that the institutions themselves get transformed.”
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According to the trust, which has a current net worth of over seven billion rand, it focuses largely on education because it believes that this is the best intervention to address historical exclusion.
“In ’94, the funds dried up because people thought, ‘You are a middle income country, we don’t need to assist you’. That’s where Kagiso Trust decided we’re not going to collapse because we know the challenge post the election would be even larger than the challenge we faced [before],” Chikane said.
“Education is the type of investment that can’t be beaten. You can give people money, its gets lost, but if you give them education, then we enable them to succeed.”