Trust to boost education partnerships

17 July 2013

Government, business, labour and civil society collaboration to improve the quality of education in South Africa entered a new phase on Tuesday with the launch of the National Education Collaboration Framework Trust (NECT).

The trust is a civil society partnership aimed at strengthening cooperation among business, labour and civil society formations to improve education outcomes in the country.

Speaking at the launch of the trust in Pretoria on Tuesday, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said the initiative would multiply opportunities for collaborations that enabled government and education stakeholders to bring about improvements in a co-ordinated fashion.

“Like you, we believe that both the government and the non-governmental groupings have a common goal of improving the quality of education, but do not as yet share a common understanding of the roles that they expect of each other or have to play towards achieving this common goal.”

Motlanthe noted that interventions by the private sector had demonstrated that even learners that attended poorly resourced schools could achieve excellent results if provided with the required support.

According to the Department of Basic Education, the trust will not replace current civil society and business projects in education. Rather, it will galvanise the many civil society and government commitments that already exist, applying lessons from the past and seizing existing opportunities to improve education.

The trust’s objectives will include improving the quality of schooling, overseeing the implementation of national education collaboration programmes, and ensuring that such programmes are suited to their context.

Also speaking at Tuesday’s launch, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga commended the trust’s members for working tirelessly for the formation of the initiative, which has the thumbs-up from all stakeholders.

The NECT’s founding trustee include FirstRand CEO Sizwe Nxasana; Business Leadership SA’s Mark Lamberti; Deloitte executive chair Futhi Mtoba; Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga; Basic Education Director-General Bobby Soobrayan; National Professional Teachers’ Association of SA president Basil Manuel; SA Democratic Teachers Union deputy secretary-general Nkosana Dolopi; and Brian Figaji, former vice-chancellor of Peninsula Technikon.

The NECT’s patrons include businessman Cyril Ramaphosa, former Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Business Leadership SA president Bobby Godsell, and James Motlatsi, former president of the National Union of Mineworkers.