Old Mutual Foundation believes tomorrow’s inclusive well being depends largely on the insights and decisions of today. There can also be no doubt that bringing out the best in our nation’s children and youth through an inspired education is the key to a brighter future for all of us.
Equipping a new generation with quality education has long been one of our key social investment focus areas. Over the past few years our understanding of the nature of the challenges has deepened and our commitment has strengthened.
Fikile Kuhlase, Head of Old Mutual Foundation, says: “In the wake of the disruptive and distressing pandemic, South Africa’s ongoing socio-economic struggles and an overheating planet, education is both more important and in need of more support than ever. It is the most powerful tool we have at our disposal to cultivate a talent pool of capable leaders and professionals to take us forward.
“As a powerful agent of change and a great leveller, education has the potential to drive transformative, inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development, but it cannot achieve this without a renewed effort and much innovation by both the public and private sectors.”
Old Mutual Foundation’s portfolio of education programmes and initiatives has grown, and its approach is more holistic and comprehensive than before.
“Our education programme now extends from Early Childhood Development (ECD) and basic education right through to the post school education phase, including skills development for NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) youth,” says Kuhlase.
Focus on early childhood and foundation years
As part of NEXT176, Old Mutual’s New Growth and Innovation (NGI) office, OYSTAR Africa is finding new ways to provide access to quality education across South Africa, starting with the critical ECD stages.
In collaboration with GROW Educare Centres, the team is developing digital tools to help thousands of ECD centre owners become self-sustaining entities that fortify the education sector.
Old Mutual also reviewed its Old Mutual Education Flagship Programme and took a new strategic direction.
Although pleased with the work done during the seven-year (2013 to 2019) programme in which it invested over R300-million, Old Mutual decided to shift the new education programme’s focus to the fundamental building blocks of learning.
Until at least 2025 the company will be investing in the primary school phase to equip young learners early on with the right literacy and numeracy skills, taught in African home languages.
The project will remain holistic, supporting not only learners, but also their teachers, principals, parents, care givers and the education ecosystem as a whole.
Ongoing support of high schools is demonstrated through the 21 Acts of Goodness for the Matric Class programme.
This programme provides academic and psycho-social support as well as post-matric opportunities by helping students apply for NSFAS funding and bursaries, and admission to universities and TVET colleges.
Old Mutual Learn. Think. Do is also focused on high schools, with a mandate to develop high quality financial literacy content aligned to the CAPS curriculum. The content is intended to expand learners’ understanding of financial concepts in the curriculum, which will improve their academic outcomes as well as their financial literacy. It is available for multiple platforms (TV, radio, smartphone, online, YouTube) and multiple formats (animation, podcasts, worksheets) in multiple languages, including all main African languages, sign language and braille.
EMPOWERING POST-MATRIC YOUTH
Old Mutual’s integrated education and skills development strategy includes post-matric support.
The Old Mutual Education Trust
The Old Mutual Education Trust (OMET) is a partnership between Old Mutual and 10 participating trade unions. To date OMET has supported more than 400 young, mainly black adults to obtain a tertiary education. Since inception in 2005, OMET has invested more than R162-million in the success of its scholarship holders.
Actuarial and Accounting Bursaries
Actuarial and accounting bursaries are awarded to Grade 12 learners and university students with a work-back contractual obligation. When you complete your studies, you join the Old Mutual Actuarial Graduate Programme or the Old Mutual CA Training Programme.
Imfundo Education Trust
The Imfundo Education Trust provides full scholarships to deserving black tertiary students, with a bias towards women, and students from peri-urban areas. Since its inception in 2011 Imfundo has spent R47-million and produced 108 graduates.
Old Mutual Foundation Post-School Education and Training (PSET)
Old Mutual Foundation addresses youth unemployment through holistic skills interventions. The focus is on strengthening academic outcomes and developing trade and vocational skills in the green economy, including digital skills. In 2022, Old Mutual positively impacted over 470 high-potential youth and absorbed 24 into Old Mutual’s IT talent pipeline.