BCF News & Articles
Dr Mishack Molope appointed BCF Ambassador in South Africa
Written by Alan   

29 January 2021

Dr Mishack Molope has joined the BCF family of Ambassadors.

After completing his PHD in soil science he rose from the position of field soil scientist to hold senior positions at the Agriculture Research Council. During this time he developed a significant reputation throughout the world as he worked on World Bank-CIGAR, UN-FAO and other international projects.

He recently retired as General Manager: Stakeholder Relations, Sedibelo Platinum Mines. He enjoys excellent relationships with mining houses in South Africa and has stated a desire to ensure children living in education districts in proximity to mines should attend government schools which operate as centres of excellence while being supported by a committed, informed parent.

We wish him a long and highly rewarding experience with BCF.

 

 
Nothing stops bullets, famine and ignorance like education
Written by Alan   

14 January 2021

BCF begins 2021 in great shape to transform education, parenting and family life throughout the world.

Five countries (Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, The Gambia and Uganda) are currently studying MOUs which they requested BCF to develop which will lead to BCF training their Ministries of Education to transform every government school in their countries into centres of excellence. BCF will also capacitate these Ministries of Education to launch programmes to provide parents with practical parenting skills at every school.

We confidently anticipate that these programmes will significantly improve academic outcomes and radically reduce family and gender-based violence in each participating country.

This is a big deal.

Over 70% of students at government schools in South Africa mostly in rural areas or townships which attended the International Schools Centre of Excellence Programme gained a university or technical university matriculation pass in 2019.

In addition, BCF is currently in discussions which might lead to the launch of the above programmes in Australia, countries in Central and South America and six other African countries post Covid 19.

 
Best wishes this Festive Season
Written by Alan   

14 December 2020

Best wishes for an enjoyable Festive Season and a healthy enjoyable and productive 2021 to you and your family from the eleven BCF Ambassadors throughout Africa, our leadership and communications team in the UK, Uganda and South Africa.

 
Transforming disaster into a triumph
Written by Alan   

11 December 2020

The biggest gift one can give is HOPE.  The Billion Child Foundation gives HOPE.

In 2011 Fezile Dabi was a poorly performing district where only 46% of students gained a basic school leaving matriculation pass.

In 2012 principals of the worst performing schools attended the BCF Schools Centre of Excellence Programme and in the same year 2012 73 % of students gained a basic school leaving matriculation pass.

As each school gradually progressed towards becoming a centre of excellence the percentage of students gaining a basic school leaving matriculation increased to over 90%. More importantly by 2019 80% of the students gained a university or technical university admission pass!

In 2017, 2018 and 2019 Fezile Dabi was the top performing education district in South Africa despite most of the schools on the table below being situated in rural villages where poverty is endemic, unemployment is over 70%, and criminality, teenage pregnancy and substance abuse is rife. Each year it has beaten the education districts in Johannesburg and Cape Town with high performing government schools which were established over 100 years ago where the best teachers aspire to teach and which are well resourced by wealthy parents and alumni.

A traffic policeman, whose son attended one of the schools on the table below, told me that his son had considered dropping out of school in 2011 but as a result of a renaissance in teaching during 2011 had matriculated and had completed his first year at university training to become a land surveyor. He was so proud when he told me his story while tears ran down his face.

Proof that BCF brings HOPE!

 
Let’s learn from the nurses
Written by Alan   

23 November 2020

Almost one in six teachers (15.3%) who qualified in 2017 left the state school sector in England within a year, according to data published by the Department for Education.

Several countries have reported that approximately half of the teachers leave the profession within 5-10 years.

Presumably most new teachers were excited the day they graduated and highly motivated on the day they arrived at school for their first day of teaching. Something is going wrong. Horribly wrong!!

Maybe the realities of full-time teaching with all its student, parent, management and administrative stresses, is just too much for many new teachers. Maybe all they wanted to do was teach.

Perhaps we can learn something from the NHS in the UK which has implemented a form of mentoring for graduate nurses during the first few months of employment.

This programme (known in the nursing profession as Preceptorship) offers newly qualified nurses about 6 months structured support provided by an experienced colleague or superior who helps them to get to grips with the routine and admin. They report that it and has given them confidence, a sense of belonging and a feeling of being valued by their superiors.

Perhaps ensuring that every newly employed teacher has a preceptor who follows a 6 month programme to empower them to successfully implement good classroom practice, effectively prepare and deliver lessons, manage discipline in the classroom, deal with parents, and most importantly to receive constructive feedback and praise as they improve, might make the difference?

One of my reasons for offering this suggestion is that so many heads of academic departments see their role as ‘supervisory’, or to gain compliance to good classroom practice. This is a box ticking exercise. As a consequence the soul of the new teacher is not nourished by a caring mentor who enthusiastically seeks to help the new teacher find their feet and become a confident, appreciated and celebrated member of the teaching community at their school.

Research from the nursing profession seems to indicate that an induction programme is not sufficient. A structured preceptorship programme for the first 6 months would provide a foundation to give newly qualified teachers the confidence to enjoy teaching hopefully reducing the dropout rate.

 
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