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Reflecting on South Africa’s Educational Challenges

by Tia

South Africa’s education system has undergone significant transformation over the past three decades. But while we commemorate our nation’s progress, we must also acknowledge the challenges that persist within South Africa’s education system. 

“Quality education is a cornerstone of employability and reducing poverty. Yet, how do we support students in disadvantaged communities or those with severe cognitive impairments? These individuals have the right to education and work,” says Jackie Gallagher, founder and general manager of Sparrow Schools Educational Trust.

“At Sparrow Schools, we believe that every child, regardless of their background or challenges, deserves access to quality education. We are committed to breaking down barriers and empowering young South Africans to reach their full potential.”

Established in 1989, Sparrow Schools Educational Trust began as a Saturday school with just four learners. Today, the institution offers education from Foundation to FET College levels, empowering over 970 students annually.

One such success story is Siphamandla Mlangeni, whose life was transformed through his education at Sparrow Schools. Born in the Free State and raised in Dobsonville Ext 2, Siphamandla faced emotional challenges after the tragic loss of his father. Despite this, Siphamandla found a supportive community and thrived at the Sparrow Foundation and Combined Technical Schools. Thereafter, he continued his educational journey at Sparrow FET, studying business administration and IT. Now employed at Sparrow Schools Educational Trust, Siphamandla serves as an inspiration to others, demonstrating the transformative power of education. He offers this advice to others facing hardships: “Never give up, no matter how hard it gets.”

Let us strengthen our dedication to creating a more inclusive and equitable education system, ensuring every child can fulfil their potential. As citizens, we need to recognise our power to positively impact the education and lives of our youth.  For more information on Sparrow Schools Educational Trust and how you can contribute to education in our country, please visit Sparrow Schools Educational Trust.

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