Supporting Quality Basic Education to Learners in Low Income Communities

RESEP is a group of researchers in the Department of Economics at Stellenbosch University with a well-established track record in researching the economics of education and the quantitative analysis of education data. They will support the Western Cape Education Department to analyse the loss of learning and other consequences for learning due to the loss of schooling days during COVID19. It may help the WCED with their planning for the 2021 school year and beyond. For more information refer to https://resep.sun.ac.za/.

The Public School Partnerships Programme (PSP), as a collaborative programme between government, donors and non-profit school operating partners, aims to achieve a system-wide improvement in the quality of public schools servicing children from poor communities by giving selected government schools the same level of leadership and management flexibility that is accorded to independent schools;  harnessing strong managerial resources that currently reside outside of the public education system, and concentrating those resources in underperforming schools and in schools serving marginalise communities and embedding a robust accountability framework so that government is able to track the performance of PSP schools.  The group of funding organisations entered into a memorandum of agreement with the Western Cape Education Department to pilot “Collaboration Schools”, that will strengthen the quality of public schools, demonstrate effective models public-schools improvement, strengthen public school governance models, develop educators, and implement interventions to improve the quality of public education for learners from the poorest communities in the Western Cape.  For more information refer to https://dgmt.co.za/tag/public-school-partnership/.

Ark Education Partnership Group has submitted a proposal to develop the capacity, systems and operating procedures in the Western Cape Education Department to ensure the growth and sustainability of the Collaboration Schools Programme.  The Collaboration Schools Programme is poised for growth but will need to attract and incentivise additional funders and operators.  The department is likely to require greater capacity for the oversight and quality assurance of operators and schools as the model expands.  The final product of the review would be a draft framework, owned by the Western Cape Education Department, that would form the basis for the next phase of the Collaboration Schools Programme. 

The objective of the ILI is to establish an instructional leadership program, grounded in the best global practice in instructional leadership training, and adapted to the South African context;  to develop a model for the training and development of school leaders;  to give selected South African school principals the needed skills to be instructional leaders at their schools; and to establish a permanent, sustainable South African entity, which will deliver accredited training to successive cohorts of school leaders on an ongoing basis. For more information refer to https://www.ili.education/.

Community Keepers delivers school-based mental health and social services to learners from marginalised communities.  The objectives of this project are to provide counselling and therapeutic support to learners; to develop learners’ social and personal skills to deal with everyday life and to make informed life choices and to equip teachers and parents with the skill to fulfil their responsibilities towards learners.  Apex High School is a no-fee public school situated in Eerste River, outside Cape Town.  The school opened in January 2018 with grade 8 and 9 learners only and will reach capacity in 2021 with 1,250 learners.  Apex High is the only no-fee high school in Eerste River and while the community can be classified as lower middle-class, the area suffers from various social ills including: gangsterism, substance abuse, sexual abuse and neglect.  Community Keepers was identified as a partnership that could add significant value by caring for the social and emotional well-being of these learners, which will also contribute towards their educational development and their overall performance.  Millennium Trust is supporting the Community Keepers offices at Apex High School and Apex Primary School.  For more information refer to https://communitykeepers.org/.

Acorn Education supports no-fee public schools to provide high quality education. As a school operating partner in the Western Cape Collaboration schools project, Acorn provides an all-encompassing support to its schools. This support includes all aspects of day-to-day management from financial and operational matters to instructional leadership, educator development and learner enrichment.  Acorn’s whole-school approach includes a) extended school days, b) online personalised learning programmes, c) holistic learner development, d) school leadership and teacher development and e) governance and operations. For more information refer to https://acorneducation.org.za/.