Inmarsat backs campaign to improve education in South Africa

05 May 2016: Inmarsat is supporting a business and education partnership that aims to significantly improve schooling for all children in South Africa.

Partners for Possibility (PfP) is addressing the education crisis in the country, which was ranked 138th out of 140 in the World Economic Forum Global Competitive Report 2015/16 for the quality of its education system, and came bottom for maths and science teaching.

From left to right: Inmarsat’s Gordon McMillan and Greg Andries, Principal of Vissershok Primary School

The programme partners school principals with business leaders on a one-to-one basis to promote leadership development. The partners work together for one year to design an improvement plan for their school and get teachers, students, parents and the local community involved.

Strong supporter

PfP’s ambitious goal is  to enable all South African children to receive a quality education by 2025 and having supported, positive school principals that back the campaign is critical to making this happen and changing the face of education in the country.

Inmarsat is a strong supporter of education initiatives, especially those recognising the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects. The company is sponsoring four PfP partnerships at schools in Cape Town.

Gordon McMillan, Inmarsat’s Global Government Head of  Business Development for Africa and the Middle East, who is based in Cape Town, is involved in the programme. He has been partnered with Greg Andries, Principal of Vissershok Primary School, which has 560 school children and 16 teachers.

Award-winning programme

This rural government school serves an under-privileged farm-working community, and the children of families living in a disadvantaged, informal settlement nearly 8km away.

“Inmarsat is proud to be participating in the PfP programme,” Gordon commented.

“This award-winning programme now extends to over 400 schools and has been endorsed by a large number of influential politicians, academics and business leaders in South Africa, including the former finance minister Trevor Manuel, the current Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela and Professor Jonathan Jansen, Chair of the Ministerial Committee on Further Education and Training.

“Inmarsat has an opportunity to make a real difference to the leadership effectiveness of principals in four under-resourced schools in the Cape Town area, with the potential for sustainable and far-reaching positive change for the schools’ pupils, teachers and their wider communities.”