Memorandum of Agreement signing and project launch ceremony
“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela
Yusuf Mohammed, CEO of Islamic Relief South Africa, signed the Memorandum of Agreement between Islamic Relief South Africa and the Kwa-Zulu Natal Department of Education. The signing ceremony officially launched the rehabilitation of the Thandokwethu Primary School. In attendance were Provincial Department of Education officials, the District Circuit Manager, members of the School Governing Body, traditional and community leaders, and members and CEO of Islamic Relief South Africa.
The quality of education in South Africa remains very poor, and according to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), social inequality is the root cause of this problem. Currently, most children coming out of schools from areas such as Dududu, Ugu District, fail to match the level of numeracy and literacy exhibited by their counterparts from private and well-funded public schools. Education plays a vital role in breaking the cycle of poverty and accelerating national development. The right to education is enshrined in the constitution of South Africa and implemented by the Department of Basic and Higher Education. However, many obstacles are preventing the fulfilment of this right. Thandokwethu Primary School in Kwa-Zulu Natal is one of the most severe cases of the unequal education system in South Africa. The school’s infrastructure is damaged and completely unsafe to use: cracked walls, broken windows, no library, no clean water, and no sanitary facilities.
The rehabilitation of the Thandoketwu Primary School, under the project “Education Cannot Wait“, aims at improving the safety and security of the school by utilizing the existing building and transforming it into an acceptable condition conducive to learning and teaching. The project objective is to improve and empower every facet of the school and the surrounding communities.
The anticipated outcomes of this project intend to enhance and improve the knowledge and development of educators by conducting in-house training and workshops, which Islamic Relief South Africa will oversee. The purpose is to holistically improve the learning environment, which includes a safe and secure playing area for students to enjoy themselves. This project will also promote, educate, and empower students on the importance of good health, water, and sanitation hygiene practices through continuous awareness campaigns. Most importantly, the project will invest in producing quality education and function as a safe space that equips students with academic, social, and emotional skills in preparation for higher education.
All these activities will strengthen the school’s position to deliver quality learning and teaching towards the transformation of the school and the community at large. Through this project, Islamic Relief will be contributing to the fulfilment of the strategic development goal of ensuring that by 2030, all students will have acquired the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development through education. We pray that this initiative highlights the importance of education and the empowerment of our future leaders.
The Memorandum of Agreement, signed between Islamic South Africa and the Kwa-Zulu Natal Provincial Department of Education, will allow the recognition of Islamic Relief South Africa as a valuable partner in the development sector. High-level government and department of education officials were in attendance and attested to the significance of this partnership. The implementation of this project will receive maximum participation and support from all key stakeholders.