Category Archives: Research

Environmental Entrepreneurs Survey Results

Junior Achievement South Africa recently completed a survey relating to their Environmental Entrepreneurs Programme, funded by HSBC.

45 of the 50 participating Gauteng schools completed the survey and the results were phenomenal.

The Environmental Entrepreneurs Programme was overwhelmingly successful and the school educators and learners welcomed and greatly enjoyed it. The programme is aligned to the school curriculum which ensured support and engagement of the educators.

ENVIRONMENTAL ENTREPRENEURS 2012/2013

GAUTENG

 Total schools in 2012 and 2013: 50

Total schools surveyed: 45

Summary of results:

The Environmental Entrepreneurs Programme was overwhelmingly successful and the school educators and learners welcomed and greatly enjoyed it. The programme is aligned to the school curriculum which ensured support and engagement of the educators.

The results of the survey indicate that there has been a definite increase among the educators and learners in awareness of the need to keep the environment clean, save energy and not pollute. Results also indicate that learners have changed their behaviour and taken action to ensure that they do keep their environment clean.

When asked if the programme had an effect on how the educators approach environmental issues in their teaching, all but 2 of the schools surveyed reported that the teachers’ insight, approach and personal awareness of environmental issues increased.  In addition, all the schools indicated that the programme had an impact on the environment around the school with some schools starting to clean their own school grounds and other schools cleaning the environment around the school.

The principals and educators also reported that the learners’ behaviour had changed as a result of their participation in the programme.  Schools that are involved with recycling projects saw learners become much more active and participating more, taking responsibility in sorting recycling material at school. Most schools indicated that the learners started keeping their environment cleaner and making use of bins provided.

Specifically, the principal at Mveledzo Primary School in Mamelodi reported that “Educators encourage learners now to pick up the papers and litter and keep the school grounds clean. The learners eagerly participate as they enjoyed the programme so much.” This statement was made in August 2013 and the programme was implemented at Mveledzo in May 2012. The principal at Sikanyisele Primary School said, “This programme solved most of our littering problems as learners are willing to pick up the litter on the school grounds”.  Ithute Primary School reported “Our school is now free of litter… they put rubbish in the bin provided.”

Schools that started their own recycling programmes reported that the Environmental Entrepreneurs Programme was the impetus for doing that. Some schools began collecting plastic bottles, cans and papers for recycling. Moretele Primary School entered a competition with ABI and received mobile bins from the Department of Environmental Affairs. Malvern Primary School started collect-a-can and Ithute Primary School began collecting recycling materials for selling.

All schools involved highly recommend the continuation of the programme in their schools. There were many requests for the programme to continue. Some schools preferred that the grade 7’s attend the programme, while most requested for learners to receive the programme in grade 6 and 7 to enforce the learning. Many schools indicated the benefit of the programme to the educators and requested more involvement of the educators in terms of presenting workshops to them as well.

Not only were the learners learning about environmental issues but other skills were developed through our methodology. The learners improved their communication skills which increased their self-esteem and self-confidence. Creativity was encouraged through the practical activities and the learners greatly improved their ability to express themselves. Social skills were developed as the learners had to work together in groups to share ideas, make plans, delegate tasks, share materials and deliver products.

The facilitators on the programme also witnessed bonding between educators and learners. Many educators reported that the programme was very insightful, not only for the content, but also for learning different methods of teaching and seeing how group work can be effective as a teaching methodology.

There is no question that the Environmental Entrepreneurs Programme was very well received and had much impact on many levels with the learners and the educators.

The complete evaluation report with answers to specific survey questions is available upon request.

Other Notable Quotes:

Legora Primary School, Principal Mohlamme Mathebe:  “The children no longer get into the flower gardens (damaging the plants) and they do not litter as they used to. I also noticed that the taps are not dripping. It would be great if this programme could be filmed so that all the children could see the demonstrations”.

Mahlasedi Primary School, Principal Joe Suman: “The programme enhanced the school curriculum as it was incorporated in arts and culture, natural science as well as social science”.

Meetse A Bophelo Primary School, Principal Patrick Sikhumbana and HOD Maphutu Rammutla: “Let JASA bring more programmes … We really love the programme, they must come back again. It was excellent”.

Mononong Primary School, Principal Mrs Mbehlele and HOD Mr Koka: “Our experience with JASA and the facilitators was excellent because of the impact it has on the behaviour and responsibility taken for the environment.”

Morakoma Primary School, Principal MT Letepe and HOD D Legodi: “I recommend that JASA start with our school beginning next year so that the learners can use that knowledge throughout the year.”

Tshimollo Primary School, Principal JT LEshika and HOD Maria Ramushu: “The programme was informative and opened our eyes that waste products can be re-used”.

Chief Lithuli Primary School, HOD Sandra Taby and Educator Thandi Ntuli: “The programme was helpful in changing behaviour towards the environment at school and at homes”.

Kgalema Primary School, Deputy Principal Anna Mokone: “All schools must participate so that we have one voice on keeping our environment clean and protected.  The Eco-warrior programme is a very vital program that should continuously assist and advice school on matters relating to the environment.”

Ditau Primary School Principal Rosta Masudubele and HOD Mr Gregory Kokong: “….well monitored programme, so well organised… continuation of this programme would not only benefit learners but also the stakeholders of the school at large.”

Selpe Thema Primary School: “It was one of the most interesting and enjoyable programmes the learners ever had.”

Usindiso Primary School: “There are environmental issues that we tend to ignore; this programme made us aware of them. Please include grade 5’s as it will lay a good foundation for their natural and social science subjects and skills.”

Vukanzenzele Primary School, HOD Angel Mbanjwa and Co-facilitator Bongani Nkosi: “This is an edu-taining programme – educating and entertaining! We recommend this campaign to all learners in all school.”

Eco Programme KZNParkhurst 7

New Experiential Entrepreneurial Programme Material Launched

 

Junior Achievement South Africa has announced the launch of its new interactive, picture based programme material ensuring that its programmes continue to take the lead in experiential enterprise education in South Africa.

Junior Achievement South Africa (JASA) identified the need to enhance and improve their programme material to ensure that the material remains exciting, interactive and learner driven.  The main objective of the improvement was to create interesting learning material for learners through picture based activities that could support existing programme material and improve the understanding of important business concepts.

JASA contracted Trainiac, to develop the new material, a company specialising in visually mapping learning content and crafting discovery-based activities which facilitate faster learning and higher content retention and application.  After several months of research and development, Trainiac presented a programme kit for the Mini Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Academy Programmes consisting of:

1. An interactive map representing two entrepreneurial environments:

a. A Junior Achievement mini-company running in a school environment and

b. A properly functioning production business in a real-world environment.

These environments illustrate the various functions of several business processes in both a JA mini-company and an actual production business. Eg. different management positions and their roles and responsibilities, various ways of acquiring start-up capital and methods of product quality control.

2.            A game board and activity cards used in a variety of interactive learn-by-doing activities, including a  card based business simulation.Hulwazi Learners Exploring the New Material

The new material is currently being piloted at a Mini Enterprise Programme at Hulwazi Secondary School in Daveyton, funded by Spar South Rand.  The pilot phase has been extremely successful and feedback from both learners and facilitators has been excellent! The learners have been eager to participate and the interactive material has ensured that they have enjoyed their programme sessions immensely.  Upon completion of the pilot phase, all of JASA’s 2014 Entrepreneurship Academy and Mini Enterprise Programmes will incorporate the new material.

“By providing for our learning material to be even more interactive, not only are we ensuring that we utlitise maximum experiential learning methods in our programmes, we are hoping this will assist in a planned move towards the development of a digital learning platform, which will allow us to scale up and reach learners in deep rural areas where physical programme facilitation is not always possible or practical.”  Noted Linda McClure.

Young people around the world improve their employability through participation in the Social Innovation Relay

Johannesburg, 10 April 2013. Today, Junior Achievement Young Enterprise (JA-YE) Europe and the University of Warwick announce the impact of the 2012 Social Innovation Relay – a global competition organized in collaboration with HP that challenges secondary school students to develop an innovative business concept that addresses a social need. In 2012, there were over 20,000 participants from 13[1] countries. The University of Warwick evaluated the program and demonstrated the significant impact of the Social Innovation Relay (SIR) in terms of 21st century skills (teamwork, problem-solving, and decision-making skills) as well as use of technology, and the potential of social entrepreneurship. The results of this public-private collaboration show the importance that e-mentoring and technology can play on the employability and entrepreneurship potential of young people.

Today’s job market is more competitive than ever and employers expect high levels of entrepreneurial and ICT skills from the next generation of employees. Unfortunately, many students do not have the opportunity to learn and develop in these areas, leaving them to struggle upon graduation. In fact, the European Commission estimates that less than 5% of young people in Europe participate in entrepreneurship education in school. Elsewhere in the world, this percentage is even lower.

In response, Junior Achievement Young Enterprise (JA-YE) Europe worked with the HP Sustainability and Social Innovation group to create the SIR to build competencies and interest in entrepreneurship and social innovation while cultivating critical 21st century skills.  To have greater reach and impact, technology was firmly integrated in the project design, a first for JA-YE which has traditional depended solely on face-to-face engagement.  Now, in the program’s 3rd year, student teams from 19 countries worldwide are creating and developing new business concepts intended to address a social or environmental impact.

The University of Warwick evaluated and demonstrated the significant impact of the Social Innovation Relay.  Overall:

  • 80% of the student participants agree or strongly agree that they understand what social innovation is as a result of their participation in the SIR;
  • 71% of the student participants agree or strongly agree that they are more aware that social and business objectives can be complementary as a result of participating in the SIR;
  • 74% of the student participants agree or strongly agree that they have learned how to work with others in new ways to address social needs;
  • 76% of the student participants agree or strongly agree  that they have developed their ability for creative thinking following participation in the SIR;
  • 72% of the student participants agree or strongly agree that they better understand the importance of ICT in pursuing social and business initiatives;
  • The vast majority of the student participants reported improvements in their communication skills (87%), teamwork skills (74%), decision-making skills (72%) and problem-solving skills (67%).

The SIR presents students with the challenges of social innovation. Students work in teams to develop new strategies and concepts to help meet various social needs and create a positive social impact. Participating students communicate and present their ideas using the latest software and digital technology. More than 22,000 students from 13 countries formed 1,564 teams that registered for last year’s relay. The top 20 teams in each country were paired with HP employees from around the world, who connected with the finalists, virtually or face-to-face, to help them bring their concepts to life. Thirteen teams competed in the final round of the competition and their submissions were judged virtually by judges from HP using HPVR technology.

Entrepreneurship education empowered by e-mentoring

This effort would not have been possible without the active engagement of the HP volunteers who were trained to serve as e-mentors. According to student survey respondents, mentors had a positive impact on their learning outcomes. Survey respondents reported that their mentors improved their considerations for social issues (80%); and provided real-life examples and stories that were not to be found in books (75%). Almost two-thirds reported that their mentor had made them consider starting up a social business. Those student teams who engaged virtually with their mentor were even more likely to experience positive learning outcomes, a strong testament to the value of e-mentorship.

ICT key driver in pursuing social and business initiatives

The Warwick University study confirms that students who participated in the SIR believe they are better able to understand the importance of ICT in pursuing social and business initiatives. ICT provides new and exciting opportunities to students for competitive collaboration within and across countries and across business and education communities. Two-thirds of participating students agree that ICT has made participation in the SIR interesting and 70% agree that ICT has made their learning fast and easy.

To read the full report, click here


[1] Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, France, India, Kenya, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Slovakia, UK, USA

Junior Achievement South Africa Receives Top Marks

Junior Achievement South Africa (JASA) received a sterling report from a Stakeholder Reputation Survey conducted by Reputation Institute South Africa.  JASA provides engaging entrepreneurial programmes which foster confident, empowered young people who are possibility seekers and creators of opportunities.  Through these programmes JASA aims to contribute to meaningful economic participation by nurturing entrepreneurial thinking among young people.

Reputation Institute, the world’s leading reputation management consultancy, graciously offered JASA a complete Stakeholder Reputation Survey using its NGO Reptrak™ model at no cost.  The Reptrak™ model is Reputation Institutes proprietary model and can be used to measure how attractive organisations are to their stakeholders.

The study, completed between October and December 2012, canvassed individuals representing JASA’s four stakeholder groups; namely school leaders, funders (both current and potential), the Department of Education and JASA’s facilitators and agents, as JASA wished to gain an in-depth understanding of its key stakeholders.  These individuals were asked various questions relating to their emotional connection to JASA, their perception of JASA’s performance and their thoughts on how JASA engages with its stakeholders.  The surveys were completed telephonically during individual 20 minute interviews and the stakeholder’s anonymity was guaranteed throughout.

The results of the survey were resoundingly positive.  Of all of the questions asked during the survey, no negative response was recorded.  Some of the most notable results were:

  • Overall, Junior Achievement South Africa (JASA) has a solid reputation and is highly regarded by all its stakeholders. 87% of the respondents have a positive emotional connection to the organisation. None of the stakeholders have negative perceptions about JASA.
  •  100% of the stakeholders interviewed are willing to partner with Junior Achievement.
  •  “Programmes being relevant to the needs of society”, “Programmes making an impact” and “being a responsibly run organisation” are the top three performing attributes.  90% of the respondents overall have positive perceptions of these attributes.
  • Stakeholders’ perceptions of JASA’s good reputation are mainly established on the organisation’s programmes, which are impressive, impactful and life-changing.  JASA’s role in empowering the South African youth is also admired and revered. Furthermore, stakeholders believe that JASA is able to achieve a good reputation by virtue of their experience of JASA staff, particularly the Managing Director, behaving ethically at all times and keeping its promises.
  • All school leaders have positive perceptions of JASA “having programmes that have impact”, “treating stakeholders fairly”, “being a responsibly run organisation”, “having a good relationship with all its stakeholders”, “being a well-managed organisation” and “having credible leaders”.
  • JASA’s funders are all positive about the organisation’s “Programmes making a difference to society”, “Programmes being relevant to the needs of society” and “Programmes making an impact”.
  • The Department of Education is most supportive about “Partnering with JASA”.

Linda McClure, JASA Managing Director, was extremely pleased with the result. “As an NGO Junior Achievement South Africa’s good reputation amongst our stakeholders is extremely important.  Without it we would be unable to function efficiently. We would be unable to acquire funding or access to schools and learners, which would make the work we do virtually impossible.  I am extremely proud of the results we have achieved and we will strive to continue to manage our excellent reputation in future.”