In 2013 Old Mutual spearheaded a multi-partner, national education initiative to invest R350 million over seven years, into under-resourced schools in key provinces. The overarching goal of the Old Mutual Education Flagship Project is to increase the number of bachelor passes (university entrance) of Grade 12 learners who have maths and science in their subject choice. By doing so, the number of students who access university education increases, with the end result of more professional skills in the economy.
Richard Varha Secondary School, situated in King Williams Town in the Eastern Cape, is one of the schools participating in the Old Mutual Education Flagship Project. With the help of the Project they have multiple initiatives happening at the school:
- Developing maths and science teachers' knowledge and confidence in their curriculum content, with workshops held by Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
- Provision of laptops to maths and science teachers with curriculum content uploaded in visually engaging material for improved teaching.
- Provision of tablets to senior maths and science learners for afterschool exercises and support. NMMU track exercise results online to monitor study progress.
- Most recently, a values-based youth leadership initiative by Columba Leadership with the Grade 9's, encouraging positive youth activism and embedding values of personal leadership such as awareness, focus, creativity, integrity, perseverance and service in young leaders.
In 2013 there were only 787 pupils, now there are 1161 pupils at this school. This shows the impact the school is having and the community is noticing what's happening. They're saying to us, we want our children at your school.
© Photography by the Old Mutual Foundation & Mark Wessels