Partners and sponsors
Ladies and gentlemen,
For me, today says that we can make things happen when we stand together as a people, united in our diversity, glued together by a common vision of building a united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous society.
It is for this reason that it feels good to be here collectively to close the Nedbank “My Future, My Career” guidance initiative.
Thank you to Nedbank and its partners for this important initiative that has touched and in a great way changed lives of close to 130 000 learners from underprivileged backgrounds.
Strictly speaking, the Nedbank investment of R17.3 million in four years, that opened up over 115 career choices across 16 industries to Grades 9 to 12 learners, did not only shape and influence the lives and future of 130 000 learners.
The children we are speaking of, some of whom are here with us, come from families, communities and schools.
Opening the doors of learning to 130 000 learners will therefore have a rippling effect. It will broaden opportunities for many who may have been condemned to wrong choices had it not been of this timely, innovative and momentous intervention.
Ladies and gentlemen,
When we announced results for the 2012 matric exams, with a national average pass of 73.9%, we tried to explain that there are many avenues and options available to learners.
We took pain to say that we all must assist our young to make the right choices. We encouraged schools to guide learners when they make subject choices. It is indeed in the choices they make in the grades you’ve focused on, 9 to 12, that the destiny of learners is largely shaped.
The Nedbank career guidance has enriched our efforts in preparing the young for a brighter future and for their role in building a better life for all.
An investment in education is requisite for building a country that works, and that is prosperous. This auspicious occasion therefore confirms, as Nedbank rightly says, that working together we can do more to make things happen.
For us to make things happen would mean working together to open for all our people, the doors of lifelong learning, education and training opportunities, especially for the historically disadvantaged who were deliberately under-developed by apartheid rulers.
The Nedbank My Career, My Future did just that. It reached out to thousands ensuring they are appropriately empowered to contribute towards improving the quality of life and building a peaceful, prosperous and democratic South Africa.
We value partnerships and therefore welcome with warm hands Nedbank’s unflinching commitment to public private partnerships. The message of the ANC government has always been that education is a societal issue.
Improving each child’s prospects of success in life is a precondition for addressing the developmental challenges we have outlined in the New Development Plan. Government cannot do this alone. We need all of you. I trust that other companies will emulate this wondrous example that Nedbank and its partners have set.
Nedbank’s role in education goes far beyond this initiative for indeed Nedbank has over the years continued to support many of our educational programmes. We have made great strides in education and partnerships have really contributed.
We have our challenges, thus the importance of mutual partnerships. The results of ANA 2012 confirmed that a number of factors are at play in the education system, including our demographic and historical realities of which you’re conscious.
From here, our task is to create a climate that is conducive for learners to receive quality teaching, to learn and to pass so that they then can apply all the options and insights that they have gathered from this experience. We will ensure also that their wellness is prioritised more so in the light of bullying and the ugly spectre of violence against women and children.
To the learners I must say, as a mother and a teacher, R17.3 million is a lot of money. You all have a duty to help justify this huge investment in your future and your country. Make much of time. Make the right choices. Make things happen, for you and your family. Education comes first.
In the words of Mahatma Ghandi, you must “Learn as if you were to live forever.”
I thank you.