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Encouraging pupil leadership in KZN schools

Grade 11 top achievers at a school in Harry Gwala District, with their new backpacks. Picture: Supplied

This past week saw Fundi (an education finance and education fund management solution specialist) partner with learning and data management platform Syafunda to build on the impact of the work Syafunda is doing with pupils at KZN schools.

With “self-leadership” and accountability important elements of educational success, Syafunda’s recent programme in the Harry Gwala District of KZN (south-west of province, Ixopo chief town) included a leadership event, as well as a maths baseline test and an assessment on key concept (ie building block) comprehension.

While the results will be used to inform other interventions in the area, the event culminated in the launch of a Syafunda digital library to district schools in the region, together with the roll-out of ICT infrastructure.


Fundi was there to celebrate and acknowledge top pupils at the 25 schools – handing out 1 000 waterproof backpacks and bursaries to top achievers.

“Our contribution here today builds on the significant commitment already made by the Albaraka Bank and the South African Muslim Charitable Trust,” noted Tshepo Ditshego, Fundi CEO. “We wanted to celebrate and showcase what is being achieved by top learners – encouraging others to keep pushing to reach their full potential and remain inspired by their own futures.”

Left to right: Zakheni Ngubo, Syafunda CEO; Sindi Zakuza-Njakazi, Harry Gwala district director; and Tshepo Ditshego, Fundi CEO. Picture: Supplied

Speaking at the event, while surrounded by pupils from across the region, Ditshego reminded the pupils that they are the masters of their own destiny.

“While other people can offer you advice or a hand-up, it’s up to you to take it. Where you’re from, your background, and even your home reality do not define who you are, what you will become, and the gifts you will give to the world. It’s up to you to seize every opportunity that comes your way – like the opportunity being offered to you by all of us today.”

Founder and CEO of Syafunda, Zakheni Ngubo, welcomed the partnership with Fundi. “We share the common goal of improving access to educational content and resources in order to support, empower and inspire our young people: the next generation of leaders and innovators on the continent. We are delighted that Fundi could join us today as we launch our digital learning platform – providing learners and educators with access to everything from best teaching practices to textbooks and past exam papers.”

Waterproof and reflective

The backpacks handed over are both waterproof and reflective – meaning that pupils who walk to school will now be more visible on local roads and books will be kept in better condition.

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“The bursaries we announced today are extra special,” said Ditshego. “They come from our very own Fundi Fund Trust, which is funded by our staff, suppliers and stakeholders. This means that these learners are being supported by a community of individuals who are contributing what they can every month to help learners realise their dreams.”

Giving matrics a second chance

Ngubo is confident this event will inspire many great things in the area. “This launch has set the tone for the 2020 school year here in the Harry Gwala District. We wanted learners to feel supported and encouraged on their journeys. We look forward to continuing to support them in partnership with our key sponsors,” he concluded.

The power of the internet and education


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