Kagiso Trust’s programme aims to improve learning outcomes in rural and township schools

The Beyers Naudé Schools Development Programme will provide infrastructure and expertise to empower teachers and learners.

Image: Supplied/Kagiso Trust

Kagiso Trust’s interventions through the Beyers Naudé Schools Development Programme (BNSDP) in rural and township schools in the Free State has paid dividends, resulting in several schools achieving a more than 90% matric pass rate.

Following the success in the Free State, Kagiso Trust will be implementing the programme in schools in Limpopo, with the aim of improving the learning outcomes of thousands of previously disadvantaged pupils.

The BNSDP, an educational model, will soon be launched in the Sekhukhune district in Limpopo.

The programme provides basic infrastructure to rural schools, ensures quality education by providing expertise to empower teachers and learners, and develops leadership capacity in teachers, learners and parents.

Kagiso Trust CEO Mankodi Moitse said the trust wants to spread the programme to other areas, "beyond the areas where we started, so that this can become a model that can be replicated, tailored and implemented across multiple districts in the country".

Moitse stated that in partnership with the Limpopo department of education, the programme has set aside R400m for the Sekhukhune district over the next five years.

"The district is a rural nodal area, whose performance has been at its lowest for several years. The BNSDP model has demonstrated over the years that we can convert under-performing rural schools into centres of excellence."

The Free State’s performance has been consistent since the inception of the BNSDP. While the national pass rate stood at 78.2%, Free State received 87.5%.

Mankodi Moitse, Kagiso Trust CEO
Mankodi Moitse Kagiso Trust CEO Mankodi Moitse, Kagiso Trust CEO
Image: Supplied/Kagiso Trust

The partnership between the trust and the Free State department of education saw an impressive improvement in matric results in a number of districts. All the districts in the province achieved more than 80%. The Fezile Dabi, Xhariep and Maluti-A-Phofung districts scored more than 92%. There were also recorded improvements in the Motheo district and Thabo Mofutsanyana, where 25 of the 56 Free State schools scored a 100% pass rate.

The province achieved more than 70% in all gateway subjects. These include mathematics, accounting, physical science, economics, English and business studies.

This proves beyond doubt that the intervention works.

Moitse said the same approach will be applied in the Sekhukhune district.

"We would like to replicate the model and Limpopo is best placed to be the next province were the programme should be implemented.

"Partnering and collaborating with the department of education, as well as with the MEC in Limpopo, will be pivotal to the success of this programme," she said.

The aim of the project is to bring a comprehensive and tailored programme that will address the challenges the schools are facing in Limpopo. The programme will provide the infrastructure that many schools do not have, and build the instructional leadership and curriculum capacity in the schools. This will, over time, improve learner outcomes and the functioning of the educational system at district level.

Moitse is confident the programme will succeed in not only improving matric results, but the schooling system as a whole in the targeted areas.

"The model is about making a systemic change. We do appreciate that there is an implicit expectation of improving the matric results. However, the over-emphasis of matric sometimes overlooks the challenges in the schooling pipeline. When instructional leadership improves, it is obvious that matric results will significantly improve, over time.

"The BNSDP is customised to fit the needs of the schools in Sekhukhune. For the model to work, we need 'all hands on deck' from all stakeholders, including the learners themselves."

Kagiso Trust has invested more than R400m since the BNSDP programme was first piloted in Lwamondo Secondary School in the Vhembe district 15 years ago.

The intervention by the trust and other partners in the private sector has been lauded by basic education minister Angie Motshekga and her MECs.

This article was paid for by Kagiso Trust.

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