This World Teachers Day, the MRP Foundation would love to honour all the educators who have been part of our holistic education journey through our Schools Programme
Mr Price Foundation Schools Programme - Honouring teachers on World Teachers Day

October 5 is World Teachers Day. We salute all our dedicated teachers, who go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that learners receive quality education. Image: MRP Foundation / Pierre Tostee

This World Teachers Day, we would like to honour all teachers and let them know how proud we are of them, especially those who are part of the MRP Foundation Schools Programme.  Without teachers, no other profession would exist!

UNESCO annually commemorates teachers around the world on October 5, recognising them as key to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #4, Education. According to UNESCO’s website, “World Teachers Day has become the occasion to mark progress and reflect on ways to counter the remaining challenges for the promotion of the teaching profession.”

In working towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, our vision is to break the cycle of poverty and inequality among the youth of our country, through our education and skills development programmes.

2020 has proven to be an extremely challenging year, especially for educators. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed even greater responsibilities on the shoulders of educators, who have to ensure that learners can catch up and pass the academic year after more than four months being in lockdown. Millions of learners and parents have had to rely on educators for guidance in this period, in order to keep up with learning from home. Educators are still under immense pressure as public school learners attend school on alternate days to facilitate the social distancing rules.

Kudos to our teachers, who together with our partners, are helping change the lives of over 64,000 learners every day, in 98 schools across South Africa in Mitchells Plain, Soweto, QwaQwa, Hammarsdale and Tongaat.

Our Schools Programme is a truly holistic education programme. It aims to cultivate environments where children can learn effectively, supported by confident teachers in schools that strive for excellence. The programme focuses on four key areas: school leadership and management; educator development; learner development and parent and community involvement.

The pilot schools programme, which was implemented in five KwaDukuza primary schools between 2011 and 2018, was successful, according to an independent evaluation by researcher Benita Williams. In the evaluation, Williams summarised that educators, together with the support of parents and stakeholders had improved the overall performance of learners in those schools.

The programme focuses strongly on creating a community of practice among school principals and educators, with regular training sessions for educators in Physical Education, Maths, Science, English, Creative Arts and Environmental Awareness programmes.

“We as a Foundation are proud of our educators who are our most valuable assets in our Schools Programme. We have watched them evolve during the pilot programme, and hope to use the lessons learnt to improve our holistic approach in the 98 schools in which we support,” said Head of the MRP Foundation, Karen Wells.