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Anglo American’s partnership with the Department of Basic Education on track to improve the educational outcomes of 70 000 learners

JET Education Services a part of the Anglo American South Africa Education (AASA) programme which improves literacy, numeracy, mathematics, and English levels by addressing some of the underlying reasons for poor education outcomes.
Anglo American is on track in its efforts to implement an ambitious education programme, in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, to improve learning outcomes for nearly 70 000 learners at 100 schools and more than 100 early childhood development (ECD) sites around our mining operations in South Africa.
The Anglo American South Africa Education Programme was launched a year ago by the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, and Anglo American South Africa Deputy Chairman, Norman Mbazima. 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 more than 2 300 teaching staff.
“We’re pleased to report that one year into our five-year programme, 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 to understand the challenges in the participating schools, and empowering and inspiring the school staff to take ownership for the required change. This groundwork is important to ensure that the programme makes a real and lasting difference to the lives of nearly 70 000 learners,” said Norman Mbazima.
With our managing service provider, JET Education Services, and programme partner Kagiso Shanduka Trust, Anglo American has made good progress on selecting schools, introducing the programme to the schools, and conducting a situational analysis for more than 90 schools. Weekend Empowerment and Transformation workshops have been held for more than 85 schools. These retreats are attended by the entire school including representatives from the school governing body and in secondary schools some student leaders.
Education NGO Save the Children South Africa is currently completing an analysis of approximately 200 ECD sites around the selected primary schools, and the resulting interventions will be ready for implementation later this year.

Anglo American South Africa and SIOC Community Development Trust, have entered into a partnership which will enable the support of an additional 10 schools and associated ECD sites in the Thabazimbi area.

“When we launched this programme a year 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 Mbazima.

One of the key components of the programme is the support and enhancement of the schools’ leadership and governance to ensure a functional and effective school environment. Training and coaching will be provided 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.

Andries Serumula, Principal of the Alldays Secondary School near Anglo American subsidiary, De Beers’ Venetia diamond mine, said the school had seen almost immediate benefits from the programme since its inception. “We have already started to share this information more widely with other secondary schools in our local circuit. This will hopefully help raise standards across the board,” he said.

“We’ve already had a strategic retreat and team-building session, and so far, so good. Looking to the future, we are excited to achieve improved outcomes for our learners, particularly in subject areas like mathematics and science, through our participation in this programme,” he said.

In addition, Luvhengo Makushu, Principal of Makushu Primary School in Musina, shares his support of the programme, “We had a challenge of the poor functionality of the SGB previously but this came out at the Retreat and everybody has promised to work in harmony and hard to improve the 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
• 90% matriculation pass rate, with a 50% university entrance
• 65% of grade 12 learners passing with at least 50% in mathematics
The programme is one of the first initiatives under our Sustainable Mining Plan which was launched last year. One of the pillars of the plan is to create thriving communities close to our operations, with education as a key building block. The programme builds on Anglo American’s substantial investment in education and skills development in South Africa over many years, which has seen our company invest more than R780 million between 2012 and 2016, largely on infrastructure and Grade 12 learner support.