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Paul Harris, former CEO of FirstRand – how to make a positive impact on education

South Africa’s education system is below par. By international standards, our literacy is the lowest amongst developing countries and only 21.06% of schools have libraries.

Mathematics teachers generally lack knowledge translating into only 13% of the curriculum being mastered by Grade 9s. Dropout rates after Grade 9 are high and only 35.79% of Grade 1s from 2000 matriculated with the National Senior Certificate in 2012. Youth unemployment is also high at 49.2% compared with the OECD’s average of 17.1%. With this reality, Paul Harris, founder and former CEO of FirstRand has invested in a variety of educational initiatives which he highlighted at our recent Thought Leaders Breakfast on 9 May 2014.