By: Amanda Mkhize.

As many South Africans celebrate the recent announcement of the 2022 matric results there is varying levels of concern around the dropout rate which directly impacts this figure and of course, may paint a grim picture about the access to quality education or lack thereof and what better day to reflect on the challenges and opportunities in this space than today – the International Day of Education.

Says Andra Nel, Marketing Manager: Brand and Purpose at KFC South Africa: “For years we have seen that the opportunity exists to find a way to truly hone the talent and potential of children in the school system. And if we look at where we sit today, the reality is that while we may be seeing a higher-than-normal pass rate, what we are not seeing is whether these children are coming out of the system are ready for university or work or even those that had to drop out due to the lack of resources at home.”

The 24th of January marks International Day of Education – a day created to celebrate and advocate for access to education.

“Education offers children a ladder out of poverty, a path to a promising future and plays a critical role in building an economy and a sustainable future. Under the theme ‘invest in people, prioritise education’, we are intentional about ensuring that we play our part as corporate South Africa in changing the status quo when it comes to investing in access to quality education,” continues Nel.

KFC today celebrates the 3rd year of the KFC Ikusasa Lethu Scholarship programme, an investment into providing access to quality education to deserving learners whose parents work for a KFC restaurant and to children who are Add Hope beneficiaries across South Africa – many of whom come from a single-mother headed households. Not only this, but the programme also allows them opportunities for holistic development. 2022 also produced the very first matric graduate through the programme – Maxine Morsariri who attended Curro Creston College in Port Shepstone and who achieved multiple distinctions in her matric year and a university exemption to attend The University of Cape Town to study computer science.

“We are using our system to open the access to education and one of the best ways to help grow skills and feed potential is through such academic scholarships. But it is more than this, it is about upskilling our youth to become better functioning members of society and so, this year, we also provided our first graduate with a University Bursary to ensure that we can continue to contribute towards feeding her potential. It is our intention that she can live out her dreams and be rewarded for making the most of the opportunities afforded to her,” states Nel.

The Scholarship programme is designed in partnership with the Curro Group of Schools who have 76 campuses across our 9 provinces and is focused on providing educational opportunities and upskilling our youth; making sure they have a solid platform and support system so that they can reach their full potential. Learners who meet the selection criteria remain recipients of the programme if they continue to meet specific annual requirements, until they matriculate.

“The results of these programmes speak for themselves. This year, we saw a 90% pass rate within the system but more so, our first graduate was not only awarded as the Top Performer in Maths, Accounting and Life Sciences but was also second in terms of academics overall in her grade. Over and above this, she was awarded as sportswomen of the year for 2022 – investment into education in its truest form!” says Nel.

“There is no doubt that education transforms lives. It is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals, and we are committed to continuing to play our part in driving inclusive and equitable quality education,” concludes Nel.


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