Investing in Education: Coronation CEO Anton Pillay spends time on the Atlas DigiBus, a state-of-the-art bus equipped with digital teaching resources, which will support five schools in Langa township in 2022.Photo credit: Jay Caboz
As the world marks the International Day of Education on 24 January and as learners across the nation settle into the 2022 academic year, Coronation Fund Managers is announcing its support for the Atlas DigiBus mobile digital classroom initiative for five Langa schools in 2022.
“Notwithstanding the impact of Covid-19, the lack of access to crucial resources threatens the prospects of millions of our youth,” says Coronation CEO Anton Pillay. The resource deficit affects many learners in various forms, such as overcrowded classrooms and a lack of equipment, books, and technology.
“As a business that actively champions education in our nation and through our hands-on experience of supporting our disadvantaged communities, we are now collaborating on an innovative solution that enables us to bring quality education directly and safely to children in townships,” says Pillay.
In partnership with Atlas and Cognizant, who brought the idea to life, Pillay says: “Coronation is excited to now be the key funder for the operation and management of the Atlas DigiBus, a state-of-the-art, mobile digital classroom. It will deliver a world-class curriculum to thousands of learners across five schools in Langa.”
Driving change in education
The 42-seater Scania bus has been repurposed as a mobile classroom equipped with 40 laptops, two teaching stations and an online tracking system. It will offer children access to excellent academic support and peer-to-peer learning six days a week, leveraging off the expertise and materials of Bishops Diocesan College.
It will support the development of children at Mokone, Siyabulela, Moshesh, Thembani and Zimasa Primary schools with programmes that cover the most critical subjects facing these young learners. It will employ up to five new staff including a qualified teacher. To double up efforts, Coronation will also be providing two student teachers who will assist full time on the bus to ensure that each learner receives the attention and guidance that they need. “We foresee a valuable transfer of skills between the teachers, as well as mentorship and knowledge sharing,” commented Pillay.
Bridging digital and social divides
Celebrating International Day of Education with the theme “Changing Course, Transforming Education”, Unesco has called for greater digital education equality. According to the organisation, the day provides a platform to showcase the most important transformations that need to be nurtured in education and enables debate around how to strengthen education, steer the digital transformation, support teachers and unlock the potential in learners and students.
“With education being at the heart of the work we do to uplift our communities, we get to engage with many learners and students. It is because of them that we remain steadfastly committed to Coronation’s purpose of investing in our country and its people for the long-term,” says Pillay.
He explained that it’s why Coronation is excited about the immense potential of the Digibus as a holistic solution to the critical needs of our learners and teachers alike. “We will also be able to introduce parent information programmes, staff training, coding and high school revision programmes to name a few.”
“Delivering a quality education to every South African child is critical for the future of our country.” – Anton Pillay
“At Coronation, we believe that by investing in education, we are investing in our next generation of leaders and contributors to society. Along with our partners in the Atlas DigiBus, we aim to give learners the boost they need to reach their full potential and look forward to achieving tangible improvements in learner results,” he concluded.
“The initiative is a potential gamechanger, which could assist in improving the level of education in South Africa and providing much-needed opportunities for the nation’s youth.”
Coronation supports a variety of education initiatives in disadvantaged communities around the country in partnership with various non-profit education organisations and other partners, and has done so for 20 years.