CHAIRPERSON OF THE
On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Nelson Mandela Institute for Education and Rural Development, I warmly welcome you.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation was founded in 1999 to support Mr. Mandela’s post-presidential work. Under the leadership of John Samuel, I worked as a part of a team supporting Madiba’s post-presidential work in education. It would be hard to overstate Mr. Mandela’s commitment to education – his deep belief that a nation’s future is shaped by the quality of education provided to all of its children. During this period Mr. Mandela was extremely concerned about the poor quality of education provided to poor children, especially in the rural areas of his childhood.
The Nelson Mandela Institute was born in these times. Leadership from government, the university sector, rural communities and the education sector came together to better understand why the promise of quality education was falling so short of its democratic aspirations, especially for rural children and their communities. After extended research and discussions involving senior policy leaders and rural parents, in board rooms and community halls, President Mandela resolved to establish an institute, carrying his name and legacy work into the future, focused on education, and particularly the education crisis facing the rural poor.
I do not think we could have known at the time how important this decision would be. I do not think we fully understood how important the work would become, and the impact the work would begin to have on the system at wider scale.
Probably the most important thing I have learned through the work of the NMI is the way that language use in the classroom is currently holding back our African language speaking children. Even more importantly, I have learned about how inequality could be shifted through working with, rather than against the languages that are most meaningful to the majority of our children.
As the Board of Trustees, we could not be more proud of the work and accomplishments of the organisation. We pride ourselves that the systems of finance and governance are sound, with the organisation receiving clean unqualified audits since its inception. We are convinced that the research and development work of the organisation promise to transform teaching and learning in African language dominant classrooms at wide scale.
As we celebrate the Centenary of Nelson Mandela, we seek to build new partnership to strengthen President Nelson Mandela’s legacy in education and rural development into the future.
MS. MAKANO MOROJELE
Board of Trustees.