South African thermal coal producer and exporter Thungela Resources, in partnership with the Mpumalanga Department of Education, unveils the Thungela Education Initiative. This programme is dedicated to enhancing access to high-quality education for students in the foundational and intermediate phases, spanning from grades R to 4, across 45 “no-fee” schools.
Additionally, it aims to offer support to educators.
With a dynamic five-year plan and an investment totaling R160 million, the initiative will roll out in two of Mpumalanga’s district municipalities where Thungela operations are situated.
“We are proud to launch an initiative that seeks to deliver solutions to one of the three national imperatives: access to quality education. Joining forces with a partner whose mandate it is to provide an education of progressively high quality for all learners is an honour for us. Our purpose ‘to responsibly create value together for a shared future’, compels us to be intentional about bringing change in communities where we operate,” says July Ndlovu, CEO of Thungela,.
“I am deeply passionate about education and believe that the foundation we set today will position our children for success. Together with the Mpumalanga Department of Education, we aim to augment the traditional approach to education, addressing multiple facets that contribute to the development of children, ensuring that they are well-rounded young individuals.”
The formative years are the most fundamental stages in children’s cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development. The launch of this initiative follows baseline assessments conducted to understand the challenges faced by learners in this phase of learning, and the findings of these assessments informed the model of the education initiative Thungela is launching today.
“Our focus going forward, will be to strengthen primary schooling as well as the Early Childhood Development in the Province. We will continue to support all our schools and learners while we intensify collaboration with private institutions, Community Based Organisations and NGOs. This year,we will partner with several institutions and organisations to build a solid foundation for the growth of our system, and through this collaboration with Thungela we aim to improve learning and teaching in some of the primary schools in Nkangala and Gert Sibande Districts,” says Bonakele Majuba, MEC of the Mpumalanga Department of Education.
The roll-out of this initiative will commence in the first quarter of 2024 and this will include amongst other components, improving school readiness, enhancing literacy and numeracy, elevating the skills of educators and school management teams, and refurbishing infrastructure to support optimal teaching and learning.
Thungela will also partner with expert organisations to provide psycho-social support and drive increased parental involvement in the children’s development.