In 2020, we saw our partnership with the government deepen with a greater commitment to supporting Future Leaders’ tuition costs. This year the opportunity to deepen partnership was taken. We have expanded our programme to the Bohlabela School District in the Mpumalanga Province through our public-private partnership with the government. This has been a great development despite the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, which led us to postpone our expansion to a new Province.
On June 17, 2021, we hosted the Future Leaders “Breaking New Ground” Virtual Celebration, which showcased the work of the Global Teachers Institute in the Mpumalanga province. Our funders, government, partners and other stakeholders joined us via zoom to hear shared stories from those involved in the pilot project over the last 18 months.
The fruit of every great harvest begins with a seed. Global Teachers Institute enjoys the great support of the Department of Basic Education, which planted the seed of a public-private partnership model to train thousands of new teachers. To tell us about that, we had Gerritt Coetzee, Director of Initial Education at the DBE, share about the DBE’s investment into teacher internships.
We saw the need to involve local partners such as Penreach to give us the lay of the land. After all, no crop will be a success without good soil to plant the seed in. Andile Ncontsa, Chief Executive Office at Penreach, shared a story on the value of local partnerships.
We started our planting in the district of Nkomazi near the eSwatini border with 20 initial interns at 6 schools. We were fortunate to have found favour with the local municipalities keen to introduce our Programme to their communities. After many conversations and planning, the decision was made, together with the Mpumalanga Department of Education (MPDoE), to extend the Programme from a cohort of 20 to 32 Future Leaders, 12 Host Schools and 28 Mentor teachers.
Water is a scarce resource in Africa, but for crops to thrive, it is essential. In addition to funding from the Funza Lushaka Bursary scheme, we have had a range of committed funders filling our pipeline. Malusi Ntoyapi from the HCI Foundation, one of our long-standing funders, shared why they are making it rain in Mpumalanga.
The Mpumalanga Department of Education has played a pivotal role in recruiting and supporting our host schools, mentor teachers and Future Leaders. Through our journey with them, Nosipho Malope of the department shared more about the impact of our first harvest.