Six-year pilot will expose 600 students to successive STEM2D Programmes

Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation partners with JASA to provide STEM2D Programmes to one cohort for six consecutive years

This pilot, which was launched this year, will continue until 2023, as a partnership between JA South Africa and the Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation, with key implementing partner Siyafunda CTC.

The same cohort of more than 600 learners will be exposed to a range of Science, Technology, Engineering, Manufacturing and Design (STEM2D) Programmes, as they move from primary school through their high school careers.

The aim of this pilot is to redress the tendency in South Africa, which is mirrored on the rest of the continent, for learners to disregard careers in STEM in favour of other disciplines. It is estimated that only around 26% of graduates in South Africa graduate with a STEM-related degree, which is largely due to students not being exposed to STEM2D opportunities during their educational careers.

Tragically, the massive job shortage in South Africa is coupled with a skills shortage in STEM2D subjects, making it necessary to outsource jobs in these fields to foreign contractors. To compound the situation South Africa was ranked last out of 138 countries across the world for the quality of Science and Mathematics education, in The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2016 – 2017.

In-school experiential STEM education programmes can expose young people to careers in STEM2D subjects. Since 2012, JASA has partnered with corporates to promote STEM education and careers to students through career campaigns. In 2016, in partnership with Johnson & Johnson, JASA successfully piloted the Opportunities Out There Programme focusing on encouraging young women to consider careers in STEM2D.

The following schools are participating in the six year pilot launched this year:

Krugersdorp, Gauteng

Matlhasedi Primary School and Madiba Secondary School

Welkom, Free State

Setshabelo Primary School and Letsete Secondary School

Acornhoek, Mpumalanga

Berreta Primary School and Acorn to Oaks Comprehensive High School

In this first year, the cohort is in the final year of primary school and are participating in JA’s Opportunities Out There – STEM2D Programme, with its variety of hands-on activities and technological supplements. These Grade 7s first learn what STEM2D is and progress to studying the professions in these fields, then learning what it takes to build a successful STEM2D business. In the subsequent programmes the focus will be on technology, entrepreneurship and work readiness.

In the course of the learning cycle, they will apply core STEM2D skills of research, analysis, application of findings, coding, algebra and structural design. A gaming and experiential approach will assist in keeping students engaged and interested, which will ensure retention.

JA South Africa is developing and providing the learning materials, and training the facilitators and educators. The Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation is providing the funding and our key implementing partner Siyafunda CTC will provide computer technology and coding expertise. The Department of Basic Education has assisted with recommending the schools and professionals from business, industry and academia will be consulted, as needed.

In addition to the production of learning materials and implementation of STEM2D activities, JASA will be involved in:

  • Establishing networks of STEM2D role models
  • Arranging study tours to industries, businesses and universities
  • Selecting countries to partner with for student exchange programmes
  • Supporting readiness for university and college with STEM2D programmes
  • Running STEM2D related clubs and enterprises in schools
  • Monitoring and reporting on the programme

The aim is to prepare this cohort of students for meaningful economic participation in STEM2D fields when they complete their studies and refine their creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication skills.

Alumnus Candice Modiselle is a well-known television personality

Alumnus Candice Modiselle is a well-known television personality

Candice Modiselle did a JASA Programme in 2011 at high school, when attending McAuley House in Johannesburg. Since then she has built an illustrious career as a multifaceted artist, public speaker, television presenter, actress, radio host, theatre practitioner, lecturer and brand ambassador. She presents on television – where she started on YOTV and now guest presents on Selimathunzi – and on radio on Massiv Metro. She also nurtures young(er) talent through On Cue Interface School of Television and Radio.
She joined us for COY 2018 as MC, where she recounted the decisive impact the high school programme had made on her choices and her confidence to approach life from an entrepreneurial perspective. She was excited to see JASA Programmes Coordinator Bonga Khumalo, whom she remembers fondly as the facilitator at her school.
“The JASA programme afforded me the opportunity to meet highly regarded people, like the CEO of FirstRand. I have been exposed to the corporate world in a way that some only imagine. From meeting the volunteers of the alumni programme, to delivering my speech at the FirstRand Awards I have grown tremendously in the way that I approach the opportunities presented to me. I now know that as a privileged individual I should take it upon myself to make my life into something I can be proud of.
“The Junior Achievement South Africa programme has shown me that one should never be afraid to learn; all you need to do is open yourself up to the endless possibilities of knowledge. Determination and self-motivation are key elements to success and with that, knowing who you are, can take you to new heights.

Advancing a culture of entrepreneurship in schools

The Foundation for the Advancement of Entrepreneurial & Technology Education hosted a conference earlier this week, on 13 and 14 August, at GEN Africa at 22 On Sloane, supported by JASA.

Founder of the organisation, Simon White, spoke about the implementation of entrepreneurial education in a school, based on his direct experience as principal of Chartwell Leadership Primary.

In the five years since Chartwell opened, the school has set a high academic standard while shaping an entrepreneurial culture. Not only is entrepreneurship embedded into the formal school curriculum but children are encouraged to start up businesses and save their profits. By age five, learners already understand the four means of production and some are even testing their first business ideas.

One of Chartwell’s young entrepreneurs is 11-year-old Latoya. After learning to knit at school, she passed on this skill to five fellow learners and together they knitted scarves to sell. The R300 they made has enabled them to grow the business with Latoya now Iearning to sew and do embroidery. Another 11-year-old, David, has diversified from knitting, which earned him R800, to selling Tupperware to family members. Learners at the school are also currently being taught to make cheese and milk. The aim is for students to have saved between R15 000 and R20 000 by the time they leave school to use for studies or kickstarting businesses.

Chartwell is setting a benchmark for entrepreneurial education nationwide and this conference marks the next phase of the foundation, which is to extend the learning to 20 other schools.

White explained that the foundation has done extensive research on introducing entrepreneurship in schools. After analysing what is currently available, the gaps in the curriculum were identified. As one example, time management is usually only taught at university level but it is a critical skill that should be introduced to learners at a far younger age. The ability to cope with studies and other activities successfully depends on being able to prioritise and use one’s time well. The research phase also entailed studying global best practices and consulting relevant stakeholders.

JASA has been running financial literacy programmes at Chartwell and JASA MD Nelly Mofokeng presented on how the organisation’s entrepreneurial capacity can be leveraged in the creation of this culture of entrepreneurship. Then two JASA school programme alumni, Gugulethu Ngwenyama and Amohelang Molefi from McCauley House, spoke about the business journey of their company to cinch the top prize at JASA’s national Company of the Year Competition.

Hands-on, experiential programmes, such as those offered by JASA, fit well into the evolving learning model with its focus on projects that expose children to abstract problems they are encouraged to solve through discussion and collaboration.

The foundation also emphasises the need for fostering innovation and sharpening STEM2D skills in learners to prepare them to be productive in the emerging world of robotics, artificial intelligence and nano technology. Partnerships will provide related learning opportunities, such as with ZA Central Registry, which will be training 150 learners in coding and website development, and linking with the global organisation, ThinkYoung.

The foundation also aims to attract a target of 50 000 entrepreneurship members as a foundation for creating 10 000 entrepreneurs.

Is solar energy unaffordable for disadvantaged communities that have no electricity?

Zandspruit entrepreneurs dispel the perception that solar power is too expensive for disadvantaged communities.

JASA visited Zandspruit in Gauteng to talk to entrepreneurs who use solar energy to power their businesses. There is no electricity in their area but they have discovered that solar energy can be reliable and cost effective.

Flo uses solar for lighting and cutting hair in his salon while a day care centre no longer has to expose children to the dangers of open fires. Their E-Power electronic charging device centre is also used to power cell phones and batteries for other hawkers in the area.

Investec-sponsored JA programme reaches 168 learners

In preparation for the school Market Day, Elethu Themba Secondary School learners brush up on their financial literacy skills

   Made possible through sponsorship by Investec’s Kgomo Project, 168 Grade 8 learners at Elethu Themba Secondary School in Eikenhof, Gauteng, played the Wealth Creation Game (aka “The Spaza Shop game”) in a one-day intervention.

The students create team companies and navigate their way through a game, where they need to make business and financial decisions. As they go along they keep a record of how their business is doing financially and at the end of the game they calculate their overall profits to see whose business was the most successful. This hands-on experience enables learners to understand the financial implications of business decisions.

These learners went through the JA Enterprise Dynamics Programme last year, where they set up a mini-business. In that programme the role STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) play in a variety of employment options, including self-employment, is explored.

These students are part of a pilot intervention that entails exposing this same cohort of learners to successive JA programmes as they move from primary school through high school.

Lebo Moholobela, HOD for Business Studies, expressed her enthusiasm about the programme and comented on how well it brought brought the school coursework to life for the students.

“The Grade 8 learners related well to the materials and responded positively to the questions asked by the facilitator. Even the more academically challenged students were responding well. This financial literacy programme has enhanced the skills and knowledge of the students in terms of understanding finances as opposed to simply recording numbers, as some students were doing previously. If this programme could be continuous the performance of students would improve even more, especially just before the exams, then this could be very helpful to them,” she said.


2018 Second quarter update

Our second quarter snapshot for 2018

With a presence in all nine provinces we currently have 60 facilitators running 190 programmes that are reaching 9 406 learners, overseen by our 10 regional agents and our programmes team at head office, who are also responsible for Gauteng.

We are grateful to our current sponsors for making our work possible

To celebrate both Savings and Mandela Month, JASA coordinated a national Mandela Day campaign, partnering with 16 schools to reach 1 200 Grade 7 learners with JA More than Money in A Day programme.

This Savings Month we also announced the winners of the More than Money Savings Challenge, which involved around 7 000 learners receiving piggy banks and setting a 12-week savings target. Those learners who achieved their savings target were eligible to enter and nine winners were drawn. JASA will match the winners’ savings and deposit these amount into bank accounts opened by the winners. Thanks to our long-term local partner HSBC.

“Monitoring programmes in an organisation is a daunting task but at JA South Africa, it is essential to track if we are doing the right things and correctly applying what has been decided. The number of learners has increased from the last quarter by an exciting 184%, due to our nationwide outreach with JA More than Money in a Day. It is exhilarating for the organisation as this showcase the lives of the young people we have impacted,” explains Mashudu Mabela, JASA Monitoring and Evaluations Officer

Youth Enterprise Development Programme graduation ceremonies have been held around the country to mark the successful completion of the coursework phase of the programme.

Mastercard is funding six Youth Enterprise Development Programmes, with JASA’s key implementing partner Siyafunda providing community centre venues and Intel developed computer literacy training. In Gauteng, 128 young women graduated from the coursework component at a ceremony hosted at SAP in Johannesburg. The graduates will now have access to six months of mentorship. This year brings the total of young women reached by Mastercard to 2500 over a period of eight years, in high school and out-of-school programmes.

The Transnet-funded Youth Enterprise Development Programme held at the Umkhumbane Entrepreneurial Support Centre in Durban held their certification ceremony. The 24 participants have started 19 business ventures, with some working together to manifest their entrepreneurial dreams. These range from making clothes, shoes and food to providing crèches, beauty salons and even venturing into construction.

The Company of the Year 2018 winners were chosen at the presentation and awards evening hosted by Citi on July 12.

After two days of intensive strategy, finance and pitching workshops, the first presentation round led to six of the nine provincial teams being shortlisted. The winning team will represent South Africa at the regional finals in Ghana in December.

Our MC, guest speaker and judges were all JASA alumni!


JA Worldwide hosts first Global Youth Forum, attended by two JASA alumni

For the first ever JA WorldwideGlobal Youth Forum, held at the Hotel Hacienda Cocoyoc in Morelos, Mexico from July 8 to 13, we would like to express our appreciation to Delta Airlines for the generous grant that made the trip possible for two JASA alumni, Kate Kekana and Ashley Dhlamini to attend. Thank you to the JA Africa office for coordinating the grant application process.

Three JASA Alumni were awarded cash prizes at a pitching competition for seven JASA Youth Enterprise Development Programme alumni, held by We Connect at their annual conference at Ernst & Young in Sandton on 1 June.

 We video profiled one of our alumni, Thulile Mbuyane, who did a JASA Youth Enterprise Development Programme in Mamelodi in 2014. Since then she has managed to grow the ginger beer business she started during the programme. She gives some valuable advice and urges up and coming entrepreneurs not to give up.

For Rubin Witbooi it took being retrenched to pursue his dream of owning a business. Two years ago, Rubin Witbooi’s world was destabilised when he was retrenched from the vending machine company he was employed at. While on the JASA Youth Enterprise Development Programme, Witbooi began to create his own venture. You can read his story here.

Thanks to our funders who support us in so many ways, such as visiting our programmes, providing additional learning opportuities and speaking at our events!




JASA Alumni Kate Kekana and Ashley Dhlamini attend the first ever JA Global Youth Forum

JA Worldwide hosts first Global Youth Forum, attended by two JASA alumni

For the first ever Global Youth Forum, 400 JA alumni, accompanied by JA board members, staff and chaperones, converged at the Hotel Hacienda Cocoyoc in Morelos, Mexico from July 8 to 13, for a week full of addresses by global keynote speakers, entrepreneurship panels, team building activities, business competitions and challenges. The aim was to have representation from at least 50 JA member countries.

We would like to express our appreciation to Delta Air Lines for the generous grant that made JASA alumni Kata Kekana and Ashley Dhlamini’s trip possible and thank you to the JA Africa office for coordinating the grant application process!

After a seemingly endless round of paperwork and traipsing to Home Affairs and the Mexican Embassy, with a nail biting wait for visas to be approved, the flight date finally arrived. The two women climbed on an airplane in Johannesburg to embark on a 30-hour journey, with a transfer in Paris. They were warmly dressed but had their summer clothes packed for the forum some 15 000 km away.

“My trip to Mexico  was the most extravagant trip ever in life, it was eye-opening and life-changing. I can confidently say I’ve travelled the world because I met people from all over the world and made friends and future business partners.

Since my trip to the Global Youth Forum, I have been thinking I want to be involved in an NGO organisation because I want to touch someone’s life the way mine was touched. I am grateful that I was given an opportunity to visit such an amazing country with caring and loving people.

My motto: Get the most out of each day and each hour. Be Your best self. Dare to be different. Love with all your heart and soul. Remember that God helps those who help themselves. Forget what the world owes you and focus on what you owe the world. Forget what you have done for your friends but remember what they have done for you.

My daily motivation is: “The most powerful asset is me, my most powerful obstacle is me. Entrepreneurship Is not about creating a business but about thinking of how you can tackle life in a successful way,”  recounts Katsana Kate Kekana


“I had an amazing experience at the JA Global Youth Forum in Mexico – actually it was a life-changing experience. I don’t think I came back to South Africa the same, I believe I came back better, fully fed with knowledge. I not only got the chance to meet with different people from different countries but I also got to do some activities with them and learnt about their them, their countries and their cultures.

I made lots of friends and even possibly future business partners and I was part of a group that came third in the pitching competition. I learnt a lot from the keynote speakers such as Khadija Ali, who taught me that your past circumstances should not stop you from going after what you want – it should not even be an excuse for failure. I am very grateful for this opportunity and it was surely one of the best weeks I ever had,” says Ashley Dhlamini


On International Night, the two women proudly wore traditional dress to showcase their cultures.

  The last day dawned too quickly and both felt emotional as they had to say to goodbye to all their new friends but the memory of this experience will remain.