Supporting Quality Basic Education to Learners in Low Income Communities

The aims of the project are to expand the knowledge of and vocabulary in Afrikaans of learners in Grade 1 to Grade 10 and to encourage the effective use of Afrikaans;  to arrange spelling competitions according to a prescribe format in every class in Grade 1 to Grade 10 in participating schools, as well as in circuits, districts, provinces and on a national level;  to draw up spelling list (with the help of curriculum advisors and lexicographers) for the various grades that meet the curriculum requirements of the Depart of Basic Education and to distribute them to the schools; to empower teachers with regards to the correct pronunciation and spelling of words in Afrikaans; to motivate the educators and other officials in the provincial departments of education to take ownership of the Spelfees project; to encourage striving for excellence amongst the learners and to identify exceptional learners; to develop similar spelling competitions in English and isiXhosa.

The project will support the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) to develop an independent, transparent and reliable school evaluation and accountability system in the Western Cape with clear consequences and support for observed underperformance, as well as an incentive programme for schools that show gains in performance.

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, jointly delivered by Relay Graduate School of Education;  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.

Community Keepers delivers school-based mental health and social services to learners from marginalised communities.  The objectives of the project are to construct and operate a new site at Trevor Manual Primary School in Fisantekraal; 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. Community Keepers will also explore further collaboration with the Departments of Education and Social development of the Western Cape Provincial Government. 

Apex High School is a new no-fee public ordinary 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 1,500 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 Trevor Manual Primary School in Fisantekraal Apex High School in Eerste River.

The objective of Acorn Education is to develop the necessary capacity to be an excellent school operating partner in the Western Cape Collaboration schools pilot project; by developing systems and processes to support high-quality school governance, school management, teacher development, learner support and community engagement in the school assigned to them; and by recruiting and developing the needed staff in Acorn Education to develop and maintain excellence with the organisation.

The Public School Partnerships Programme (PSP) as a collaborative programme between government, donors and non-profit school operating partners 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 PSOP schools.

The group of funding organisations entered into a memorandum of agreement with the Western Cape Education Department to pilot "Collaboration School", 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.