The Vincent Tshabalala Education Trust
The Trust is an initiative of the Alexandra comrades and school friends of Vincent, who wanted to recognize his contribution, honour his legacy and ensure that his memory lives on and inspire generations of young people from Alexandra. In recognition of his commitment to an equal and better education and to the struggle for a better South Africa, the education trust has become a fitting tribute to this young and courageous soldier of the Umkhonto We Sizwe.
The founding of the Trust was underpinned by a strong historical premise – Vincent “Toivo” Tshabalala was a learner at Minerva High School in Alexandra Township in the early 1980’s. He was a chairperson of COSAS and founding member of Alexandra Youth Congress and later joined the African National Congress (ANC) and Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) as a guerilla fighter. In 1985 at the age of 20, this brave MK cadre was martyred in a skirmish with the apartheid police in Alexandra.
The Vincent Tshabalala Education Trust was successfully launched on 24th September 2004 at the Central Johannesburg College (Alexandra). The Central Johannesburg College (Alexandra) on Vincent Tshabalala Road (previously known as London Road) has a specific significance as it was within what is now the College yard where Vincent heroically fought and died in a battle against the apartheid security forces.
The project is primarily aimed at assisting young people who have the potential to advance their education and make a positive contribution to their community, but are hindered from doing so by financial constraints as well as lack of awareness of opportunities.
The Objectives of the Vincent Tshabalala Education Trust are:
- Award full bursaries to the top matriculants in Alexandra annually
- Support two financially disadvantaged Grade 8 pupils till completion of high school
- Initiate national and international exchange and exposure programs
- Support and enhance the culture of teaching and learning in Alexandra High Schools
- Identify and support networking opportunities, collaboration and exposure for beneficiaries of the Trust
- Create and support a volunteer network to enable the beneficiaries of the Trust and other students to engage in community development initiatives.
- Paul Mashatile ( Chairperson)
- Constance Bapela
- Louis Seeco
- Mxolisi Zwane
- Dipuo Mvelase
- Joe Manana
- Sizakele Nkosi
- Pam Mallela
The following are the sources of funding:
- Monthly contribution by Trustees
- Individual contribution by members of the community including our graduates
- Annual Golf and Dinner fundraising
- Bursaries for top students
- Full bursary : covering tuition, books, accommodation and monthly allowance
- Basic bursary : covering tuition and books
- Recognition of best performing educators – award prizes that include laptops and cash
- Leadership awards for Principals and deputies leading best performing schools – award prizes that include cash, laptops and holiday vouchers.
- Recognition for best performing schools – identify and mobilize resources to address the needs of the school to enable better teaching and learning environment
- Other initiatives to support and enhance teaching and learning – example career guidance; facilitating the establishment of Alumni at various Alexandra high schools, engaging parents and teachers in support of education. We also buy books written by South African authors – especially Africans for the high schools. On a quarterly basis we organize a breakfast for principals to enable interaction and sharing of experiences and lessons
- Supporting community programme through the involvement of the trust beneficiaries in initiatives aimed at improving education standard and the lives of the people of Alexandra – Saturday Classes, community clean up campaigns etc
Bursaries for Tertiary Education
- To date 91 learners from Alexandra high schools have been awarded bursaries by the Trust since 2005.
Support culture of teaching & learning
- Eight best performing educators were awarded lap top computers with mobile internet connection to both recognize their contribution and provide them with additional tools to support their teaching endeavors.
- The principal of the four best performing high schools were recognized for their leadership and awarded laptop computers with mobile internet connection, cash and one also received an all expenses paid holiday for her and family to Cape Town.
- Three deputy the principal were given cash prizes and vouchers to a spa
- In recognizing the best performing High Schools, school infrastructure improvement and support was done for one high school and another is planned for later in the year
- The perimeter wall in Alexandra high school was erected to improve security. Broken windows were replaced and all classrooms painted to improve the learning environment. A programme to continuously clean the school will be finalized with the SGB and the learner representatives.
- Two laboratories were refurbished, grade 12 classrooms repainted and staff room provided with urn, cutlery & crockery at Minerva high school
- Two Principals breakfast have been organized
Networking and support opportunities for the beneficiaries of the Trust
- Monthly meetings and regular telephonic engagement to check on progress, provide assistance and information.
- Networking opportunities with leaders from both the public and corporate sector who share their journey and inspire our beneficiaries
- We also assist graduates with learnership opportunities.
- The Trust in partnership with Outward Bound organised a personal and leadership development programme for all our Saturday classes tutors
Volunteer network to participate in and support community development initiatives
Initiatives in the areas are being investigated. The support and partnership with donors is critical in this area.
Since 2011 our graduates have been conducting Saturday classes for grade 10, 11 and 12 in Alexandra. This programme accommodates learners from all the five high schools in Alexandra. In 2012 198 learners are enrolled.
Supplementary education classes
Beneficiaries of the Trust together with other tertiary education students from Alexandra have been running supplementary classes for grade 10; 11 and 12 learners from the five Alexandra high schools. This year 195 leaners across these grades have enrolled for these supplementary classes.
Progress Status (2012)
- To date 91 students have benefited from the Trust to further their tertiary studies
- Eight educators have been awarded laptop computers with internet connection in recognition of the commitment in the education of our children
- The Principal and deputies of the best performing school have been recognised for their leadership and awarded with prizes
- The Best Performing Schools have had infrastructure improved (these include security improved, classrooms re-painted and window panes replaced, laboratories refurbished, books donated to libraries, improve matric area and staff rooms provided with facilities for coffee and tea) to contribute in improving the learning environment. The educators from Best Performing schools were also treated to a team building session.
- The Trust also support Saturday and Holiday Supplementary classes’ initiative for grade 10 – 12 started by graduates who benefitted from the Trust.
- We also promote and participate in the local community activities aimed at promoting healthy lifestyle amongst the youth, including encouraging participation in sport and community development