In October, the Chairperson and co-founder of the Adopt-a-School Foundation (AAS), President Cyril Ramaphosa, addressed over 700 industry leaders, dressed in school uniforms and sports attire, at the Foundation's 13th annual 'Back to School' Party at Wanderers in Johannesburg. The event, sponsored this year by Channel VAS, a leading global FinTech enterprise in mobile technology, is a highly anticipated event on the philanthropic calendar.
Chairperson of Adopt-a-School Foundation, President Cyril Ramaphosa (Front Row to the left) learners Bandile Nobumba, Similo Nobumba, Ngwenya Thabisile and Tebogo Mokonyane. (Back row) Departmental Head R Mahlangu, TR Nkosi and the School Pricipal M.J Makhafola.
Under this year’s theme, “Healthy Schools, Healthy Champions”, a sum of R6.3 million was raised through pledges, an exciting auction of choice prizes and table sales to support the Foundation’s Whole School Development programme in disadvantaged adopted schools.
Adopt-a-School, a partner entity of Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation, motivates the private sector to partner with it to develop optimally conducive teaching and learning environments. It works with the Department of Basic Education, service providers, and best practice NGOs to implement sustainable solutions to a school’s development and educational outcomes. Collaborations such as this are essential for the Foundation to achieve its mandate. Through these partnerships, Adopt-a-School has invested over R1 billion in implementing Whole School Development at over 590 schools, reaching over a million beneficiaries across the country. Its Whole School Development model is a holistic programme that improves the governance, academic, infrastructural, social and security environment in schools. The funds raised through pledges at the Back to School Party will go specifically to audiology and visual programmes as well as the Health, Sanitation and Sexuality Programme at three schools in KwaZulu-Natal.
For the first time this year, the event incorporated school awards, celebrating schools that have improved and sustained good results. These schools are producing at least 50% and more of learners eligible for university entrance. Amongst the winners was Ms Patricia Kamusoko, a physical science educator at Eketsang Secondary School. She was honoured with the best Physical Science Educator award for achieving a 100% pass rate of her 2018 classes, with over 60% of learners achieving bachelor passes.
President Ramaphosa applauded guests for their commitment to improving education in the country. “The cycle of poverty must be broken,” he said, “and it can be broken through education”. “Through education we can start to reduce inequality, gender-based violence, crime, substance abuse and the social ills that affect our country. We thank all our supporters for their commitment to improve the quality of education of South Africa,” he said.
President Ramaphosa also thanked Channel VAS for sponsoring the event this year. “Through this sponsorship we are able to ensure that all of the funds raised on the night go directly towards improving teaching and learning environments in disadvantaged schools,” he said.
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