Nedbank managing executive Ciko Thomas, and the minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, spoke on the importance of a good education and helping those pupils that are disadvantaged so they can also achieve their best.
(Images: Ray Maota)
• Nkosinathi Msiza
+27 71 670 3560
The commencement of the public schooling calendar can be stressful, with some parents having to dig deep to make sure their children look great for their first day at school.
For some poor families, help was at hand on 9 January when Gauteng schools opened their doors for the first term of 2013. Nedbank, in association with the Department of Basic Education, handed over school uniforms, shoes, stationery, books and bags to learners at N’wa Mhinga Primary School in Saulsville, Pretoria as part of the financial institution’s Back to School Campaign.
Initiated in 2011, the campaign aims to help those less privileged across the country with basic learning resources – and ultimately make children’s first day at school memorable. It runs through the month of January only.
This year Nedbank is investing R2.5-million (US$291 123) towards the campaign that will benefit 2 000 disadvantaged pupils. In Gauteng, pupils from N’wa Mhinga, Dominican Convent School, and Thuto Ke Matla Comprehensive School will benefit.
The pupils were selected through the assistance and guidance of the principals and teachers who work with them on a daily basis. Children in the Eastern Cape and Kwazulu-Natal will receive their new school uniforms, shoes and bags on 15 January on 17 January respectively.
Ciko Thomas, Nedbank’s managing executive, said: “Allow me to congratulate the Class of 2012 and the Department of Basic Education on the excellent matric results.
“We believe the matric results are good indication of how we as business and society support as well as prepare our youth to plan and embrace their future – as tomorrow’s leaders of our nation and the South African economy.”
Thomas added that Nedbank, by the end of 2013, would have invested R6.5-million ($756 921) towards these basic learning resources, benefiting over 6 000 primary and high school pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga said: “We appreciate the support from Nedbank as they help in areas were the department cannot.
“To the teachers, I believe we need to protect teaching time and not be doing personal business during school hours; and to the parents you should motivate and support your children.”
N’wa Mhinga Primary School principal Elizabeth Maluleka thanked Nedbank and the department of basic education for making sure less privileged pupils receive good education without impediments.
The Back to School Campaign forms part of Nedbank’s Fundisa holistic programme which follows a two pillar education intervention model.
The first pillar focuses on education across an individual’s life stages, starting from early childhood development right through to tertiary education. The second enables a holistic support for beneficiary schools through infrastructure development; teacher training; building leadership capacity; and, providing classroom based support.
Kone Gugushe, divisional executive for corporate social responsibility at Nedbank, said: “Education is one of our corporate social responsibility’s focus area and we are determined to enable as many pupils as we can to focus on their studies rather than on school resources.
“The Back to School Campaign ensures that even those pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds have an equal opportunity at being the best they can be.”
How to contribute
Members of the public can join the fight to equip disadvantaged pupils through:
* dropping off uniforms, shoes, stationery and bags at their nearest Nedbank branch;
* Donating a minimum of R100 ($11) to Nedbank Savings Account 2001120915 and use “Back to School” as the reference; or
* SMS-ing “school” to 40017 to donate R20 ($2).
The no fee school
N’wa Mhinga was founded in 1931 at Marabastad in Pretoria but it moved to Atteridgeville also in Pretoria in 1941 during the forced removals of the apartheid regime.
The school has an enrolment of 578 pupils and offers Grade R to Grade 4. It is a no fee school and uses Xitsonga as the language of instruction. In addition, the school has a feeding scheme were pupils are given breakfast and lunch.
All pupils attending no-fee schools are exempt from paying fees, although at N’wa Mhinga parents have agreed to pay R100 ($11) a year.