Kagiso Trust’s interventions through the Beyers Naudé Schools Development Programme (BNSDP) in rural and township schools in the Free State have paid dividends, resulting in several schools achieving more than a 90% matric pass rate.
Following its success in the Free State, Kagiso Trust will implement the programme in similar 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 infrastructure to rural schools, ensures quality education by providing expertise to empower teachers and pupils, and develops leadership capacity to teachers, pupils and parents.
Centres of excellence
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 said 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 underperforming rural schools into centres of excellence.”
The Free State’s performance has been consistent since the inception of the BNSDP. The national pass rate was 78.2%, whereas the Free State received 87.5%.
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%.
Improvements were also recorded in the Motheo district and Thabo Mofutsanyana, where 25 of the 56 schools scored a 100% pass rate.
“This can become a model that can be replicated, tailored and implemented across multiple districts in the country,” Mankodi Moitse, Kagiso Trust CEO
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 and Riba Cross districts. “We would like to replicate the model and Limpopo is best placed to be the next province where the programme should be implemented.”
“Partnering and collaborating with the Department of Education, as well as 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 schools face in Limpopo. The programme will provide the infrastructure that many schools do not have, and build instructional leadership and curriculum capacity in the schools. This will, over time, improve learning outcomes and the functioning of the educational system at district level.
Overemphasis on matric
Moitse said she was confident that the programme will succeed in not only improving matric results, but the schooling system as a whole in the targeted areas.
“The BNSDP model is about making a systemic change. We do appreciate that there is an implicit expectation of improving the matric results. However, the overemphasis on 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 model is customised to fit the needs of the schools in Sekhukhune. For the model to work we need all hands on deck from all the stakeholders, including the learners themselves.”
Kagiso Trust has invested more than R400m since the BNSDP programme was piloted at Lwamondo Secondary School in the Vhembe district, Limpopo, 15 years ago. The intervention and that of other partners in the private sector has been lauded by Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga and her MECs in the various provinces.