President Cyril Ramaphosa, chairperson and co-founder of the Adopt-a-School Foundation, addressed 1 040 guests at the Foundation’s 12th annual ‘Back to School’ party on Saturday 20 October 2018, at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and International Convention Centre, in Johannesburg.

The party, one of the biggest events on South Africa’s Corporate Social Investment calendar, brings guests from across the country together to share and celebrate Adopt-a-School Foundation’s triumphs and to raise funds towards various Foundation school development projects. The Adopt-a-School Foundation is a partner entity of Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation.

President Cyril Ramaphosa thanked guests, dressed in their old school uniforms, for their sustained support in 2018. He said that without them, Adopt-a-School Foundation could never have enriched the lives of over 930 000 learners and 7 500 educators through its Whole School Development programme, which aims at improving the governance, academic, infrastructural, social and security environment in schools.

Every year the ‘Back to School’ party has a different theme. This year the theme was ‘literacy and storytelling’ – something close to the Chairperson’s heart. “Through reading and storytelling, we are able to connect to something bigger than ourselves,” said Ramaphosa. “Books allow us to travel to any and every country, exploring cultures, religions and traditions foreign to our own,” he continued.

While the evening was one of celebration for what had been achieved, Ramaphosa emphasised that there was still a lot of work to be done. Quoting a recent study which revealed that 78% of Grade 4 South African learners are unable to read for meaning*, he stressed the importance of supporting organisations such as Adopt-a-School, to help improve education standards in South Africa.

“It is only through collaboration that we can make meaningful and sustainable change,” said Ramaphosa. “The goal is to improve the quality of education, skills development and innovation in our country, which will contribute to growing the economy and alleviating inequality through the creation of employment and improved incomes,” he concluded.

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