School @ the Centre of Community
 

A year of milestones for partnerships, a lifetime of change for the South African education system

On Thursday 18 February, ten influential business leaders and South African school principals gathered at WorldsView Academy for Organisational Change in Sandton to celebrate the end of a year’s membership spent improving the education system under the Partners for Possibility program.

 

Partners for Possibility is an initiative founded to build social cohesiveness through the structured improvement of under-resourced South African schools. The program facilitates a partnership between a business leader and a school principal to create a basis of support and collaboration that benefits the school and its greater community. “Tonight as we celebrate a successful year of milestones, we hope to shed light on how stories of hopelessness and stark inequality can develop into stories of progress and ultimately excellence,” said Dorcas Dube, Communications and Marketing Manager of Partners for Possibility.

The programme, which is in its 6th year, has identified a crucial gap between successful schools and under resourced schools. Principals in the latter schools are not adequately prepared for the leadership task that they have been enlisted with and the programme empowers them through partnership to become change leaders in their immediate environments as well as inspire transformation in their communities.

Nomonde Xaba, proud principal of George Mbilase Primary school was newly appointed when she joined the programme and was partnered with the influential South African business woman and powerhouse, Wendy Luhabe. “I was raised in the heart of Daveyton, Tembisa, so when Partners for Possibility offered me the chance to plough back meaningfully into my community, I was determined to rise to the challenge. In a world where there is a chronic leadership vacuum and pockets of excellence, I am inspired by this home-grown, innovative and sustainable solution which places education at the centre of community.”

 

Nomonde, reflecting on how the partnership has provided her a strong foundation upon which she can assertively step up to lead shared, “I am so much more confident in the work that I do, I now have a supportive staff that respects my leadership and a school that is improving across all levels of performance. Learners who could not read have, through our intervention programs, improved greatly and the results reflect that.”

By placing the school at the centre of community, Partners for Possibility believes that a radical transformation can be achieved in the education sector. Principal of Mashemong Full Service School in Tembisa, George Madzhadzhi confidently declared, “I am determined to work towards giving my students a high quality of education, and for my school to emerge as one of the best schools in the Ekhuruleni North Educational District.”

Rosie Chirongoma, partner to Principal Raesetje Ramodike of Siphethu Primary School in Daveyton, reflected on the possibilities in partnership and said, “When the education system is energised and the community mobilised to activate an upward spiral towards social change, the nation can enjoy a country that builds upon the base of education, a quality education for all.”

The mission of the Partners for Possibility programme is to rally a network of mobilised support around the principal and the school. Celebrating a growing network of partnerships, the milestones achieved are changing the future prospects for these schools and their learners.

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