Chief executive officer of SekelaXabiso, Lindani Dhlamini talks education in Johannesburg

Lindani Dhlamini is a co-founder and CEO of SekelaXabiso and has more than 20 years of experience in the business field as a qualified chartered accountant.

She has achieved pioneer recognition through winning the Black Business Quarterly magazine’s new entrepreneur award in 2006.

Dhlamini shared her thoughts on the education system of South Africa…

The right to education does not only mean access to learning – it also means a quality education that adequately prepares schoolchildren for the journey ahead.

The provision of funding to schoolchildren is a way of strengthening the talent base South Africa needs to put us on the global map. I’ve had experience with both private and public schools. Growing up, I attended a government school, while my children have been fortunate enough to attend a private school. They are worlds apart – and it all boils down to resources.

The private school system gives schoolchildren critical skills which equip them throughout their lives. For example, my 10-year-old son is already learning how to create presentations. I first created a presentation at university and I had no clue what I was doing – I had to learn these skills at age 19, which was dauntingly difficult.

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The public school system is trying to provide the best with what is available but until the resources improve, education levels will not progress and the gap between public and private will remain. This gap, however, should never be perceived as an inhibitor to succeed.

SekelaXabiso, South Africa’s leading black-owned professional services firm has partnered with the St Mary’s Foundation and other schools around the country to fund children throughout their high school education. St Mary’s Waverley, through the St Mary’s Foundation, aids academically talented girls who have the potential to become leaders in their communities, but who are excluded from top-class education due to financial circumstances.

At SekelaXabiso, we are funding 16 schoolchildren across the country. These children are making informed choices about their careers and how they can positively impact society. Through the partnership, SekelaXabiso also pays for school and sports uniforms and grocery parcels – including essential toiletries such as sanitary pads.

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Children who receive scholarships and bursaries inevitably perform better because the basics are seen to. Other schoolchildren become motivated, as a result, and aim to be awarded bursaries as well.

Receiving the opportunity to attend a school such as St Mary’s allows these children to live different lives to what they envisioned, and the knowledge they gain is taken back home to their families and communities.

There should be a concerted effort by corporates, schools and government to work together to boost bursaries without limitations, thereby enriching more talented schoolchildren who can build a brighter future.

Details: For more information about the St Mary’s Foundation and how community members can assist, visit www.stmaryschool.co.za/foundation.

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