By Phindi Maduna
The ongoing spread of the life-threatening Coronavirus (COVID-19) and subsequent implementation of the nation-wide lockdown has brought about much anticipated and understandable concern for the status of the education system. All South African learners have been at home for almost sixty days, and counting. While some have kept up to date with their studies while at home, with the support of institutions in the public and private sector, civil society organisations, parents and caregivers; others have not fared that well and are in need of further and focused support. Numerous consultations to find solutions to the challenges are ongoing among the Department of Basic Education, educator unions, school governing bodies, educators (including other staff members), parents, community members, and business leaders, among others. South Africans are looking forward to receiving guidance on the proposed action plan.
Brand South Africa believes that it is important for learners to understand their responsibility towards the attainment of the goals they set out at the beginning of the year. “Everything that learners do in the present contributes to the creation of their futures. While we understand that a great deal of uncertainty has been brought about by COVID-19, we also remain confident that the current situation is temporary; and it is therefore vital that learners do not lose sight of their dreams and aspirations” says Pumeza Ceza, Manager: Civil Society Stakeholder Relations at Brand South Africa.
Brand South Africa has again, partnered with the Sindisa Dunga Foundation to support learners in the realisation of their careers of choice. The Foundation is a non-government organisation that is lending a much needed hand to learners in order for them to prepare for their futures during this challenging time.
Since 2006, the Foundation has been running a two-year learner mentorship and career development programme that seeks to provide career guidance to school learners in rural and peri-urban areas of the Eastern Cape, thus bridging the gap and limiting barriers to entry for pursuance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers. This is done through a yearly intake of 600 Grade 11 learners who are mentored until the completion of Grade 12. This programme has been growing from strength to strength over the past years and has positively touched thousands of lives.
14 years later, the Foundation’s message remains the same – learners are called upon to research opportunities offered at various Higher Education and Training Institutions; be on the lookout for the requirements for study admission, residence admission and financial assistance.
The COVID-19 pandemic called for an unconventional approach to the programme wherein learners can interact with the Foundation through their mobile phones on social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp messenger. The Foundation welcomes this as an opportunity to inform learners beyond the Eastern Cape and therefore inspire more South Africans to be accountable for their futures.
For more information, get in touch with the Sindisa Dunga Foundation on their Facebook Page.
About Brand South Africa
Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.
About Play Your Part
Play Your Part is a nationwide programme created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa. It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing. A nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone.
Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates and individuals, NGOs and government, churches and schools, from the young to the not-so-young. It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all.