“South Africa is significantly underperforming in education, particularly mathematics teaching and learning. Mathematics teaching is often poor quality, with teachers not able to answer questions in the curriculum they are teaching, one indicator of the challenge. Often national testing is misleading as it does not show the major gap at lower grade levels. Of the full complement of pupils who start school, only 50 per cent will make it to Grade 12 and only 12 per cent will qualify for university entrance. Fundamental reforms are needed in the public sector. Business leaders need to incorporate an understanding of private education and other market experiments and schooling innovations in their overall perspective and priorities for intervention and reform.“


"The Teacher Development Summit (‘the Summit’) of 29 June to 2 July 2009 represents an important historical moment: it has been a national gathering of all stakeholders, who have come together as a result of a call from teachers themselves through their organised formations and supported by the Department of Education, the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC), the South African Council for Educators (SACE) and the Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDP SETA).

The Summit has been a rare and important opportunity to think afresh and innovatively about the many challenges relating to teacher development. Practising teachers were strongly represented among the Summit participants, and made their voices heard both in the formal sessions and a special round table discussion in which they shared their experience of teacher development activities, both positive and negative."


“The Zenex Foundation initiated a metaevaluation of 23 of its mathematics, science and language projects in South African schools between 1998 and 2006. This forms part of its commitment to project evaluation and research as a way of strengthening its impact. The aim of each project has been to improve the quality of teaching and learning, and to achieve positive change in schools. The projects have achieved varying levels of success, but more importantly, the evaluations have provided invaluable information on critical success factors and the dynamics of school development. The lessons documented by the meta-evaluation have informed the development of the Zenex Foundation’s strategy for the next ten years.”

Guidance for corporate community engagement professionals to steer their international strategies and navigate differences across regions.

Giving Around the Globe: 2017 Edition is a treasure chest of insights and best practices on how business can be a force for good.The four topics highlighted are:

  1. How technology can be used to improve employee engagement. 
  2. How businesses can use their advocacy power to uphold human rights and good ethics. 
  3. How the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be used as a road map for defining long-term business goals and recalibrating the positive contributions of business to society. 
  4. How businesses can deal with the rapid growth of voluntary disclosure and become a proactive force on critical issues. 

"The National Development Plan stresses that South Africa has set itself the goals of eradicating poverty, reducing inequality, growing the economy by an average of 5.4 percent, and cutting the unemployment rate to 6 percent by 2030. Education, training and innovation are critical to the attainment of these goals. Therefore improved learner performance, especially in subjects such as Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST), is critical in the Basic Education Sector.

“This evaluation report examines the effectiveness of the Inkanyezi Project, a Zenex Foundation funded initiative that enabled selected Black learners to attend public schools with a history of providing quality Mathematics and Science education.

Conducted by Quality Projects in Education and Schaffer & Associates from 2009 to 2016, the evaluation investigated, inter alia, whether the performance of the participating learners improved in Mathematics and Science, and what lessons could be learned in terms of expanding the project to more schools, and advancing Mathematics and Science teaching and learning in schools. The report contains a number of findings around mentorship, learner selection, project management and other elements of the project.” 

The Teacher Development Summit, held in July 2009, was a ground-breaking event, which brought together for the first time all the stakeholders from across the teacher education and development sector in South Africa, with the primary goal of highlighting and addressing the challenges being experienced in teacher education and development, especially by teachers.

The Summit resulted in a Declaration that called for the development of a new, strengthened, integrated national Plan for teacher development in South Africa. Stakeholders represented at the Summit continued to collaborate after the Summit towards the production of the new Plan. This document represents the outcome of their work.

The Training and Teaching of mathematics is matter of teacher subject knowledge and pedagogy.  But its implementation in the school context is a matter of organisation and authority.

For an intervention to improve the quality of mathematics in a school to succeed, it is essential that the project design include both these dimensions:  the Mathematics teacher and the wider school organisational context.

This article provides examples of the dynamics and planning required of a typical school intervention programme to gain traction.

"The Minimum Requirements for Teacher Education Qualifications has multiple users. It is used by the DHET to evaluate teacher education qualification programmes, submitted by public universities, for approval for inclusion in their Programme and Qualifications Mix (PQM) and therefore for funding and to evaluate teacher education programmes submitted by private higher education institutions for registration, enabling them to offer the programme. It is also used by the CHE and the HEQC to inform their teacher education accreditation and quality assurance processes."

Read the Minimum Requirements for Teacher Education Qualifications (MRTEQ), issued by the Department of Higher Education, 19 Feb 2015.

“Opportunities and Challenges for Teacher Education Curriculum in South Africa forms part of the Teacher Education in South Africa series. The series documents a wide-ranging set of research projects on teacher education conducted by the Education, Science and Skills Development research programme within the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), as part of a consortium of research partners. A comprehensive investigation of the dynamics shaping the professional development of educators, the series provides important reading for educationists, academics and policy-makers.”

Read more: https://www.hsrcpress.ac.za/books/opportunities-and-challenges-for-teacher-education-curriculum-in-south-africa

"This report on Water and Sanitation: Accountability to People Who are Poor, is based on the Commission’s systematic and extensive work undertaken in fulfilment of its mandate on these rights since 2010. It begins with a systemic approach to the legal investigation and resolution of the two complaints on unenclosed toilets that has informed the Commission’s ongoing investigation and resolution of water and sanitation complaints across the country. This report is thus based on the work the Commission undertook through its legal, education and advocacy programs and in fulfilling its mandates under both CEDAW and PAIA."

Read the full report here


“This research into the factors that contribute to quality Mathematics and Science teaching in public schools, was funded by the Zenex Foundation and conducted by the Centre for Development and Enterprise.

The study, which was concluded at the end of 2013, focused on second tier schools that perform just below the top producers of Mathematics and Science learners but above the national average. The research examined the relationship between school performance in Mathematics and factors such as teacher to learner ratios, teacher qualifications and experience, and teacher competence.”


This report presents an analytical framework for documenting and highlighting the different types of philanthropic activity being pursued in Africa by individuals, communities, and organisations.

It first lays out an overall framework for thinking about different forms of philanthropy and then identifies four categories of philanthropic activity that have been the focus of this first exercise. We estimate the potential size of each category where possible, and highlight emerging observations from the 150 organizations and individuals that were profiled.

The report also offers an analysis of broader trends both continent-wide and in the data available for different parts of Africa and the Diaspora, and we conclude with some suggested areas for further work to deepen knowledge in this field.

Source details:

This report was produced for the African Grantmakers Network (AGN) by Dalberg Research and Dalberg Global Development Advisors. The AGN committee that guided the production of the report included Halima Mahomed and Bhekinkosi Moyo from TrustAfrica. The production of the report was managed by the Southern Africa Trust. © 2013 African Grantmakers Network

There is no doubt that education is a vitally important aspect of every young South African’s future. There is equally no doubt that the current education system is facing many challenges and is struggling to produce school leavers of the calibre required in industry, most notably when it comes to the subject of mathematics. The Improving Maths Performance Debate, held in Johannesburg in 2015, brought some of South Africa’s brightest minds together to consider solutions to this recurrent challenge.


"This report is based on commissioned research on the development of Teacher Professional Standards (TPS) in a range of developed and developing countries. Guided by the research findings, it assesses the potential for TPS to contribute to improving teacher quality in South Africa; it draws lessons from the experience of other countries, makes recommendations for the adoption of best practice in the field and identifies priorities for developing and implementing TPS effectively."

Read the full report from CDE Insight

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