Expansion and innovation in South African education


Dear TWA team, fellows and related friends,

The month of November has been an extreme one in the LEAP camp as we are planning and preparing for further growth and expansion in the year 2009. Not only has this process of increasing our student numbers by 25% and, obviously, a staff contingent to go with that, we have also had to explore and find alternative accommodation for the Johannesburg campus and we are in the process of consolidating and further sub-dividing our existing facilities in Cape Town so that we can accommodate the growth in Cape Town as well. All of this is very exciting but also placing some pressure on staff and on students as we continue to take the ideas of LEAP to appropriate scale.

Even more exciting has been our involvement in the national process of reviewing education strategy and determining a new roadmap for education in South Africa in the next ten years. This has been a process with which we have been directly involved for the last 5 months although we have been engaged through Dr. Mamphela Ramphele with Minister Naledi Pandor’s office for over 2 years, presenting ideas and opportunities to her. We were able to put together a document to present in this DBSA (Development Bank of South Africa) forum.

So, it is very exciting that the opportunities have come for us to actually be direct stake holders and participants in an unfolding process of discussions and strategic planning that has culminated in a very clear roadmap outline going forward from 2009 on.

Please also find attached a presentation that we were able to make to the national Department of Education Ministerial Committee-including the minister with her team and all provincial heads of education-meeting on Monday earlier this week. This will help you to understand the significance and the extent of both of our involvement and of the scope of the thinking and decision-making as it has happened, particularly through the process that was brokered and managed by the Development Bank of South Africa.

I am sharing this with you so that you can celebrate LEAP’s involvement and also support this process, and be excited by the process and outcomes as we take our collective planning and thinking forward into the next year. 

Thank you for all the contributions that have been made and all the ideas over time that have been shared. Thank you too for the re-enforcing encouragement that has been so evident through your involvement and your engagement with me and with LEAP directly and indirectly. The role of TWA has been huge in these processes. Thank you to each person involved.

I look forward to hearing your responses and comments and ideas in the near future although I understand that this is an extremely busy time of year and there is a volume of information in these attachments. 

Thank you again.

Viva South Africa! Viva LEAP! Viva TWA! Viva USA! Viva Obama! Aluta Continua!

Stay well,

John Gilmour

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