South Africa

Kagiso Trust programme to support pupils through job creation

Communities also benefit from the Beyers Naudé Schools Development Programme

Makofane Kagiso drinks water during the BNSDP launch at Sehlaku Secondary School in Limpopo.
Makofane Kagiso drinks water during the BNSDP launch at Sehlaku Secondary School in Limpopo.
Image: Ziphozonke Lushaba

The Beyers Naudé Schools Development Programme (BNSDP) by Kagiso Trust is not only assisting pupils at school level but also committed to helping deserving students further their university studies.

Speaking at the launch of the programme held at Sehlaku Secondary School in Driekop, Burgersfort, on March 6, Kagiso Trust chief operations officer Themba Mola said the BNSDP was committed to helping deserving students at universities, especially those who pursued careers in engineering.

“Our students who performed well at schools and are interested in furthering their studies at universities, especially in engineering, are given an opportunity to do so through our retreat programme. We work closely with them at universities to ensure that they are successful,” Mola said.

He said there was also a basic infrastructure programme in place to ensure that schools were functional in terms of ablution systems and sanitation, among other things.

We set a benchmark of 60% to evaluate performance.
Themba Mola

He said teachers were trained to work with computers and in laboratories that have been donated or built through the programme.

“We look at different infrastructures to ensure that the environment is conducive to learning. We also try to deal with the problem of overcrowding at schools,” he said.

Mola also touched on the incentive element of the BNSDP for schools but stressed that there were conditions attached to it.

The incentives are given to performing schools as part of the programme’s mission to encourage teachers and pupils to achieve quality results. “We say to the schools, ‘Demonstrate your commitment to improve learners’ results and if you improve in this regard, we will incentivise you with infrastructure.’

"That’s how we measure the commitment of respective schools. This encourages schools to compete against each other. We set a benchmark of 60% to evaluate performance but we know our schools can do much better. We have schools in Qwaqwa [in the Free State] who performed well beyond 90%, so it’s possible for other schools to do the same,” Mola said.

The BNSDP is not only focused on pupils. Communities can also benefit from it.

Mola said the programme roped in qualified engineers to oversee the process but prioritised the community by allowing its qualified members to build school facilities, thereby creating jobs. “We don’t look elsewhere for expensive companies to build these facilities, but in the communities where the schools are,” he said.

“We give them a stipend during the building process and, after completion, we hand over the facilities to the communities and schools. By doing so, we give them ownership of these facilities and are guaranteed of their safety.”

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This article was paid for by Kagiso Trust.

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