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Business execs who care: It’s your turn to take a ‘walk’ in our principals’ shoes

Since 2018, some of South Africa’s most prominent business executives have shown up for Partners for Possibility’s Execs Back to School event. This was their first step in supporting education in South Africa and creating #TheFutureWeWant.

Partners for Possibility (PfP), the flagship programme delivered by Symphonia for South Africa (SSA), is gearing up to host the 2021 edition of its popular Execs Back to School event on the 3rd of June (online event)  ̶  and is calling on all business executives who care about education in South Africa to participate.

Proudly sponsored by investment holding company Sphere Holdings, Execs Back to School facilitates an important cross-sectoral opportunity to addressing the challenges in South Africa’s education system. Business leaders engage with principals who lead under-resourced schools to gain important insights into the challenges that these education leaders face. The Execs Back to School initiative supports PfP’s work to strengthen education and promotes this internationally acclaimed leadership development programme and its recently launched #TheFutureWeWant campaign.

According to Sphere’s CEO, Itumeleng Kgaboesele, all South African businesses have an obligation to support disadvantaged schools.

“As business leaders, we all have our schooling to thank for giving us access to further study and professional life. To succeed as a country, we need thriving communities built around successful institutions like schools that offer pupils hope and opportunity,” says Kgaboesele.

Although previously an in-person immersion experience, this year’s event will look slightly different. Executives will be able to schedule a school visit with a principal in a location of their choice, keeping in mind the need to adhere to Covid-19 regulations.

After their school visits, the execs will join an online debriefing session during which they will share their observations and insights and reflect on their experience.

SSA’s Sustainability Lead, and lead organiser for Execs Back to School 2021, Tambu Muzenda, said:

‘’There is no doubt that the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed schools to explore and implement new ways of working. It has prompted school leaders to start re-aligning the schooling system in order to adapt to the ‘new normal’.

“This is why Execs Back to School is an unmissable opportunity to gain first-hand insight into the challenges that have plagued the education system even before the pandemic started and how schools across the South African landscape are now coping in the midst of the pandemic.

We hope that this process will promote conversations and bring about new thinking on the role of business in education and how we can all collaborate in the future.’’

Previous Execs Back to School events saw CEOs and senior executives from some of South Africa’s most prominent companies experience school environments in Johannesburg and Cape Town. They were unanimous in their praise for the initiative and the insight it afforded.

Much-loved footballing legend and role model, Lucas Radebe, spent the morning at Soweto’s Nomzamo Madikizela Mandela Primary School as part of the 2019 cohort. His participation helped him realise that supporting education should be a ‘’national imperative’’.

“Schools are the centre of our communities and are an essential building block for the nation’s future. Effective schools equip the next generation with the values, skills and education they need to fulfil their individual potential at work and as active citizens contributing to sustainable communities,” he said.


Join a growing cohort of business executives who have been enriched by Execs Back to School.

Investment: Each participant is asked to make a financial contribution of R4,000 or more, which will make this event possible while also helping to sustain PfP’s important work.

Feel free to share this opportunity or let us know if you’d like to nominate colleagues or friends.