The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) is mandated to promote industrial development and job creation in South Africa and the rest of the African continent. Since a strong skills base is key to building a robust and globally competitive manufacturing sector, the IDC’s corporate social investment (CSI) activities are centred on growing the potential of the country’s human capital by supporting education, skills development and entrepreneurship. In 2013, the IDC set out to deliver holistic and sustainable solutions to schools. It established a long-term partnership with the Adopt-a-School Foundation, which uses a whole school development model to address the academic, infrastructural, social and security environments in ‘adopted’ schools – some of the most under-resourced and marginalised in the country – to ensure that they are conducive to excellence in teaching and learning. Since then, the IDC has invested R100 million into 20 high schools and 10 primary schools across the country.
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Read more: Industrial Development Corporation - Holistic and sustainable school development
It is especially important when working with schools to take into account that schools are part of a bigger system. Senge et al (2000) highlight that schools that improve are those that approach change from a systems perspective.
In keeping with this, school improvement projects that have the most impact are those that take the system into account and work within the broader structures of the education and individual school systems.
Deming (1994, 50) described a system as a “network of interdependent components that work together to try to accomplish the aim of the system.” It is therefore important that the interdependencies and components that make up the whole are understood and framed within a bigger systems approach.
Read more: The GM South Africa Foundation Learning Schools Initiative - Overview & Supporting Model...
The National Policy on Whole School Evaluation was legislated in 2001 in the Government Gazette Vol.433, No. 22512 of July 2001. The overall objective of the policy was clearly spelt out as ‘to improve the overall quality of education in South African schools with its main purpose to facilitate improvement of school performance through approaches characterised by partnership, collaboration, mentoring and guidance’ (RSA, 2001:iii).
Read more: National Policy on Whole School Evaluation