Crowd resourcing to get Vuwani back on track: Show Solidarity with Schools in Vuwani and Restore the Right to Learn!

The National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT), in collaboration with SECTION 27, Basic Education For All (BEFA), the Helen Suzman Foundation and Kagiso Trust, calls on South Africans to support endeavours to get schooling in Vuwani back on track. Within a few hours of making the call, the partners have been able to secure financial and in-kind contributions worth R1,4 million.

Since the protest started learners have lost 10% of their schooling time in the first half of the year.  If learning and teaching in Vuwani does not start immediately, learners face the prospect of losing a further 30% of the prescribed learning time.

Whilst the root cause of the disruptions is being addressed through the engagement between government and community structures, the NECT, in collaboration with the Department of Basic Education, has been working with teacher unions, religious leaders, School Governing Body associations and learner structures to restore learning and teaching and to protect learning spaces in the affected communities. Similarly, Kagiso Trust, Section 27, BEFA and the Helen Suzman Foundation have been engaged in endeavours with a similar range of stakeholders to restore normality to the situation in Vuwani.

“The NECT and its partners are of the view that learning spaces have to be protected in every community. In this regard, we are encouraged by the outcomes of our engagements with these community structures and their actions aimed at resuming learning and teaching and protecting schools in Vuwani. We acknowledge the efforts of parents who stood up to guard their schools and encouraged teachers and learners to go back to school. They have emphatically expressed their wish that quick resumption of schooling should not be hindered by lack of essential resources and infrastructure. Teacher unions have committed to going the extra mile to recover the lost time and churches volunteered to accommodate learners where required,” says the CEO of the NECT, Godwin Khosa.

To strengthen these community initiatives, the NECT and its partners call on South African organisations and individuals to lend a hand to the Vuwani community. Speaking on behalf of the collective, Khosa said, “We call for financial and in-kind contributions to facilitate the speedy resumption of learning and teaching.”

SECTION 27's Mark Heywood, who is running the Comrades Marathon to raise money for Vhafamadi Secondary School said, “We may be far away from Vuwani. Our children may be in safer learning environments, but we recognise that protecting every child's right to basic education is everyone's responsibility. It is critical that we all show solidarity with the learners, educators and parents in Vuwani.”

The most immediate and critical requirements of the affected schools include:

  • Building services and  materials for the renovation of classrooms that are not so badly damaged;
  • Furniture for learners - 3, 000 chairs and tables or desks;
  • Office, administration and teaching equipment - 398 teacher chairs and tables, 126 computers, 24 projectors and screens, 26 photocopying machines, 45 printers, 119 cabinets, 50 bookshelves;
  • Tshivenda and Xitsonga readers, textbooks and study guides;
  • Stationery supplies; and
  • Supplementary teaching programmes for 58 primary and 28 secondary schools.

Click here for a detailed list of the required resources.

The Department of Basic Education has secured space to temporarily store and distribute the resources to schools. The NECT has established a pledge register for non-financial resources and a dedicated bank account for financial contributions is being opened with First National Bank.

To pledge please email pledge@nect.org.za

Click here for the bank details.

In closing Khosa said, “We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Kagiso Trust who pledged R1 million and Rebone Furniture Group who have committed to donating chairs and tables for 1, 000 learners.”

We are encouraged by the interest and positive response shown by South African organisations and individuals. An update on the contributions will be provided to the donors and published through electronic media on an ongoing basis.

We hope that more South Africans will respond to the call, adding their weight to the movement to strengthen the social compact called for in the National Development Plan.”

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