Anglo American’s ambitious education programme, which was launched eighteen months ago in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, is on track to improve learning outcomes for nearly 16,500 learners at 26 schools around its mining operations in the Northern Cape.
The Anglo American South Africa Education Programme was launched by the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, and outgoing Anglo American Deputy Chairman, Norman Mbazima. Following a “whole school development” approach its goal is to improve literacy, numeracy, mathematics, and English levels by addressing some of the underlying reasons for poor education outcomes, which include supporting school management teams, governing bodies, principals and teaching staff.
“We’ve made good progress in setting the programme up for success. A significant amount of time has gone into meeting directly with members of the school governing bodies, teachers and principals. This groundwork is important to ensure that the programme makes a real and lasting difference to the lives of our learners in the Northern Cape,” said Sindiswa Gaven, the Community Engagement and Development manager at Anglo American’s iron ore business, Kumba.
In consultation with the Department of Education and other stakeholders, Kumba’s local teams, Anglo American’s managing service provider JET Education Services, and its partner for Whole School Development, Kagiso Shanduka Trust, the process of selecting the schools, introducing the programme to them, and conducting a situational analysis to understand their challenges has been completed. Empowerment and Transformation workshops have been held for each school, including representatives from the governing bodies and some student leaders, to empower the school staff to take ownership for the required change.
Education NGO Save the Children South Africa has completed an analysis of many Early Child Development (ECD) sites around the 17 selected primary schools in the Northern Cape, and the resulting interventions will be ready for implementation in some of these ECD sites in 2020.
The next steps will be to provide training and coaching to ensure each school has a sound school improvement plan that is owned and actively implemented by the governing body, management team, teachers and student leaders. This is a key step to ensure a functional and effective school environment.
Andrew Mejanie principal of Postdene Primary School, which is located in Tsantsabane – a community where Kumba’s Kolomela mine operates, said the retreat has already had a positive effect on the levels of teaching and learning at his school.
“As educators, we often attend workshops which could actually have been conducted simply by giving us handouts. This was totally different. We had incredibly inclusive discussions around our role as teachers, and how we showed value to each other and the learners,” said Mr Mejanie.
“When we came back, we realised there are things that we should change. Punctuality is not arriving at school on time and sitting in the staffroom. It’s about being at the class before the children, not keeping them waiting. For many of our children, we are the only role model they have, and their best chance at success in life – and that’s an immense responsibility.”
The programme is one of the first initiatives under Anglo American’s Sustainability Strategy, which was launched last year. One of the pillars of the plan is to create thriving communities close to the company’s operations, with education as a key building block.
“When we launched this programme eighteen months ago, we shared a vision of building thriving communities with schools with highly motivated learners and teachers, parents that are involved, and effective school management teams to achieve a quality education,” said Yvonne Mfolo, executive head of Corporate Affairs at Kumba Iron Ore. “We are confident that we are well on our way to achieving this, and making a real difference to the lives of thousands of learners.”
These are the schools Anglo American’s iron ore business, Kumba, is supporting through the Anglo American South Africa Education Programme:
|Kumba Sishen||Kumba Kolomela|
|Batsweletse Primary School||Agang-Thuto Primary School|
|Dibotswa Secondary School||Asmandia Primary School|
|Glen Red Primary School||Assmang Primêre Skool|
|Kegomoditswe Secondary School||Blinkklip Sekondêre Skool|
|Kopano Intermediate School||Hoërskool Postmasburg|
|Lerumo Primary School||Htt Bidi Memorial Primary School|
|Letlhakajaneng Primary School||Khosis (Met) Primary School|
|Moedi Secondary School||Laerskool Postmasburg|
|Motshwarakgole Intermediate School||Postdene Primêre Skool|
|Nametsegang Secondary School||Ratang-Thuto Secondary School|
|Omang Primary School||Refentse Primary School|
|Pulelo Primary School|
|Segwaneng Primary School|
|Simololang Primary School|
|Thaganyane Primary School|
What the Anglo American South Africa Education Programme seeks to achieve
The Anglo American South Africa Education Programme has set ambitious learner-focused stretch targets, which include:
- 90% of learners aged five achieving the minimum requirements for school readiness
- 90% of grade 3 learners passing with at least 50% in numeracy and literacy
- 75% of grade 6 learners passing with at least 50% in mathematics and English First Additional Language
- 65% of grade 9 learners passing with at least 50% in English First Additional Language
- 90% matriculation pass rate, with a 50% university entrance
- 65% of grade 12 learners passing with at least 50% in mathematics