Sizwe Nxasana: how the NECT supports the NDP

09 April 2014 | Opinion

The National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT) is an organisation dedicated to strengthening partnerships among business, civil society, government and labour, in order to achieve the education goals of the National Development Plan (NDP).

Sizwe Nxasana addresses the 5th Social Investment Conference

It strives both to support and influence the agenda for reform of basic education, NECT founder Sizwe Nxasana told the Tshikululu Social Investments-sponsored 5th Social Investment Conference, which took place in Johannesburg on 2-3 April 2014.

“We are not trying to replace the government; we’re building capacity for government to do what it’s suppose to be doing. We are working as a catalyst to government to work within itself and support the Department of Education.”

The NECT works using a partnership strategy called the Education Collaboration Framework (ECF). The ECF entails a partnership initiative involving government and social partners, and seeks to influence and support the implementation of education reform.

During his address, he posed the question: “What will change the system?”

“Collaborative efforts,” was the answer.

He then spoke of the process of capturing data about the current situation in schools, as one of the ways in which the ECF is working with government to identify issues and address them.

“From September to December 2013, we profiled eight schools, providing detailed data that’s never been had before, “ he said.

“In our interventions, there has to be ‘systemness’. We will work at district level (there are 86 districts in the country). Next year we want to be in 21 districts; it’s either you go big, or go home. You can’t fiddle around if you are going to change the system,” Nxasana said.

The six themes in education on which the ECF is focused include:

  • Professionalisation of the teaching service
  • Courageous and effective leadership
  • Improving capacity of the state to deliver quality education
  • Increased resourcing
  • Community and parent involvement
  • Improved learner welfare

On using technology as a form of teaching and increased resourcing, he said: “Technology can be in an enabler and facilitator; but it can never replace teaching, especially in the junior phase.”

He also explored morals and ethics in schools, saying: “If you have good leadership, you see it before you get to the school. Same for bad leadership.”

Read more about the NECT and how you can become involved here.

  • Sizwe Nxasana is also CEO of FirstRand Limited and the FirstRand Foundation, a Tshikululu client