JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Diversified miner Anglo American on Friday launched a new education programme, in partnership with the Department of Basic Education (DBE), which will improve outcomes for learners in 100 early childhood development sites and 100 primary and secondary schools that are local to the company’s mining operations in South Africa.
The programme was launched at the Ivory Park Secondary School, near Midrand, Gauteng, by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and Anglo American South Africa deputy chairperson Norman Mbazima.
The programme aims to improve reading, writing and numeracy levels and quality passes through addressing some of the underlying reasons for poor education outcomes by supporting school management teams, governing bodies, principals and teaching staff, as well as parents.
Targets of the programme include that 90% of leaners aged five meet the minimum requirements for school readiness; 90% of Grade 3 learners pass with at least 50% in numeracy and literacy subjects; 75% of Grade 6 learners pass with at least 50% in Mathematics and English First Additional Language; 90% of Grade 12 learners pass with a 50% university entrance allowance rate; and 65% of Grade 12 learners pass with at least 50% in Mathematics.
At about 75 primary schools and 25 secondary schools, strategic planning retreats will be facilitated to ensure that each school has a sound strategy and school improvement plan that is owned and actively implemented by the school’s governing body and school management team, with the support of highly skilled and experienced coaches.
Anglo American has invested more than R780-million towards education and skills development in South Africa over the last five years – focussing largely on infrastructure and Grade 12 learner support.
“By building on the decades of investment we have made in education, we will refocus our resources to provide wide-ranging and quality education, from childhood learning to matric, for the learners in communities where we operate so that they can build a better tomorrow,” affirmed Mbazima.
He added that, by giving children access to quality education, it can play a role in improving people’s lives by tackling the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
This programme complements the DBE’s 2019 action plan, titled ‘Towards the Realisation of Schooling 2030’, which details strategies that aim to improve the performance of South Africa’s schooling system.
The programme is also one of the first initiatives under Anglo American’s sustainability strategy that was launched last month. The strategy aims to create thriving communities close to the miner’s operations, with education as a key building block.