NECT project takes off in Mpumalanga

Parental involvement is one of the most important contributors to learner performance.

The National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT) has commenced its intervention programmes to improve learner performance in the Mpumalanga Province. The NECT’s ultimate goal, derived from Chapter 9 of the National Development Plan, is to ensure that ‘90% of learners pass maths, science and languages with a 50% pass rate by 2030, and programmes towards this realisation have already been set in motion in provinces such as Limpopo, North West, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

In the Bohlabela District of Mpumalanga the NECT has started to see improvements in many of the participating schools. The Quick Wins Support system for schools under the Fresh Start Schools’ (FSS) initiative, has started  to have a positive impact  in areas of Teacher Performance, School management, Learner welfare and development, Curriculum management, Training support materials, Equipment infrastructure and facilities, Parent and community involvement and District capacity improvement.

For example, since beginning of 2015, the FSS support system introduced a recycling programme, vegetable gardens and schools security management project, which led to an improved learner and teacher morale, and school attendance, as the schools become safer and cleaner.

“This project is making things so much better at my school. Now I am excited to be here all the time”, said S.S Chawane, Principal of Bantomu Primary School.

The FSS initiative is currently at inception phase and aims to create a conducive educational and working environment for both learners and teachers – the next phase, working closely with the District  will introduce more comprehensive interventions in areas such as “Teacher development & professionalism” , “School Management & Leadership”, in a bid to deliver quality education in public schools. The initiative is currently focusing on selected schools in the district. Of the 398 schools in the District 58 have been selected as part of the FSS initiative and are being provided with extensive support.

Some positive examples of improvements have emerged.  The one example involves the SGB Chairman of Bantomu Primary School who utilised his expertise, and sacrificed his time, to build shelves in the principal’s office.  The shelves have assisted in improving administration management in the school  

“This kind of personal involvement is what makes education a beautiful experience for learners, and creates an appetite to learn - when parents, teachers and the community work together to improve education” says Rob Wilson, Project Manager for the Bohlabela district. He continues “the Department of Education can only do so much, but when we come together as business, government, unions, parents, teachers, and the community, more can be achieved. This is nation building”.

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