Communities also benefit from the Beyers Naudé Schools Development Programme
The Beyers Naudé Schools Development Programme (BNSDP) by Kagiso Trust is not only limited to assist learners at school level, it’s also committed to helping deserving students further their studies at universities.
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 pursue 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 they also have a basic infrastructure programme in place that is aimed to ensure that schools are functional in terms of ablution systems and sanitation, among other things.
“We set a benchmark of 60% to evaluate performance,” KT COO Themba Mola
He said teachers are also trained to work with computers and in laboratories that have been donated and/or built through the programme.
“We look at different infrastructures to ensure that learning and the environment is conducive to learners. 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 are conditions attached to it.
The incentives are given to performing schools as part of the programme’s mission to encourage teachers and learners to achieve quality results. “We say to the schools: ‘demonstrate your commitment to improve learner’s results and if you improve to 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 that 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 focusing on learners as communities can also benefit from it.
Mola said they rope in qualified engineers to oversee the process but prioritise the community, by giving the entire job to build the facilities at the schools to its qualified members, thereby creating jobs. “We don’t look elsewhere for expensive companies to build these facilities, but in the communities were the schools are.
“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 the ownership of these facilities and we are guaranteed of their safety,” he said.