Monday, 25 July 2011

Struengmann Foundation teams up with Top W-Cape Schools to offer Grade7s better future

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According to a report by UNESCO, social inequality has a major impact on the kind of schooling children receive in many countries. South Africa faces this same challenge and requires both government and private action in order to answer the need to provide children with equal learning opportunities.
Western Cape Learners showing academic promise will be given the opportunity to benefit from rigorous academic programmes at some of Cape Town’s best schools, thanks to the creation of a programme called Students for a Better Future.

Founded by the Andreas and Susan Struengmann Foundation, the programme aims to act as a means of granting South Africa’s young achievers access to top-notch educational environments that they would otherwise not have been able to afford. Andreas and Susan Struengmann are themselves successful business people who recognise the need to invest in South Africa’s future leaders through education.

After meetings with some Western Cape Education Department managers, an extensive recruitment drive for learners with academic promise began with presentations to top-achieving Grade 7s at nearly 100 primary schools.

Over 1000 of these learners sat an entrance exam in June after which the best performers and their families were invited to interviews. As a result, 32 learners have been selected for the programme and will begin their Grade 8 year in 2009.

The list of schools that have entered into partnership with the Foundation includes Springfield Convent School, Wynberg Boys’ High School, Rondebosch Boys’ High School, Wynberg Girls’ High School, Herschel Girls’ High School, Westerford High School and South African College High School (SACS).

Melanie Bruce, principal of Springfield Convent comments, “Students for a Better Future has been extremely wise and far sighted by spending much time and effort not only to match each child to a particular school, but they are ensuring that all the needs of the children and their parents, and indeed of the receiving schools, are taken into account. We feel very privileged to be involved and believe that Springfield Convent School will be enriched by the presence of our five girls.”

All tuition fees are covered, while a stipend is provided for uniform, books, stationery, sport and school trips. Selected learners are expected to commit to fully develop their talents and to be active participants in service to their communities and country.

Both academic and social support will be available to the learners throughout high school, starting with a 10 week Academic Enrichment Programme this year and Orientation Camp over January 2009 that will help them prepare for the new environment. Other key components of the support services include a mentorship programme to expose learners to the world of work and community service initiatives to reinforce their commitment to give back.


The 7 November Foundation launch will be held at the Struengmann’s Hout Bay Manor Hotel and will include parents, but, says Sue Struengmann, “It’s all about the children.”

The launch’s main purpose is to award the learners their scholarships at the Scholarship Award Ceremony, at which Professor Marian Jacobs, Dean of the Health Sciences Faculty at UCT, and an Advisor to the Foundation will address the attendants. The Foundation’s other esteemed Advisors are Astrid Berg, Associate Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the UCT and Red Cross Children's Hospital and Marina Petropulos, author of the widely acclaimed Baby and Child Care Handbook.

The function will feature a variety of activities including beading lessons courtesy of the Iziko lo Lwazi Community Center and entertainment by the Hout Bay Music Project, which teaches music to children from the historically disadvantaged communities of Hangberg Harbour Village and Imizamo Yethu, Hout Bay.

About the Andreas and Susan Struengmann Foundation

Dr. and Mrs. Struengmann are committed philanthropists with a passion for education. Their Foundation was established in 2007 to sponsor educational initiatives, currently focused in the Western Cape. The Struengmanns have also made an endowment of R28 million for the Sue Struengmann Chair in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health at UCT, to which Professor Alan Flisher was appointed.

Susan Horst
Executive Director, Andreas and Susan Struengmann Foundation
021 419 3383

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Published in Science and Education