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Tue Dec 06 21:53:25 SAST 2016

Former Australian PM in SA to promote partnerships in education

TMG Digital | 2016-02-09 18:43:33.0
As the Chancellor of Ducere and Chair of the Board of Directors‚ Global Partnership for Education‚ Gillard emphasised the importance of literacy and education. File photo
Image by: STRINGER / REUTERS

Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard is visiting South Africa for the first time to promote partnerships in education.

The key message of her visit is that education‚ employability and entrepreneurship begin at grassroots level‚ from the support of basic education and literacy to the preparation of students for today’s global economy.

Gillard visited Zandspruit Primary School on Monday to celebrate the Ducere Foundation’s African Children’s Stories programme roll-out in the local township community along with partner Monash South Africa (MSA)‚ a leading private higher education provider founded by Monash University (Australia) and a member of Laureate International Universities.

As the Chancellor of Ducere and Chair of the Board of Directors‚ Global Partnership for Education‚ Gillard emphasised the importance of literacy and education. While launching the latest collection of stories written by local South African learners‚ she encouraged the children to keep writing and to make their education a top priority.

The MSA and Ducere collaboration is made possible through the MSA student-led programme “This is Me”‚ which promotes children’s creative thinking‚ storytelling and literacy skills to support their academic and personal growth.

Di Fleming‚ CEO of Ducere Foundation‚ reiterated Ducere’s vision to “continue publishing stories written by African children‚ for African children to be shared across the globe. encourage and celebrate literacy from a young age‚ and empower the young learners to embrace their African culture.” MSA distributed hundreds of these stories to schools through their campus community engagement programmes.

Gillard’s visit culminated in a panel discussion‚ held on Tuesday. Together with panellists including prominent business‚ NGO‚ and community leaders‚ Benjamin and Gillard discussed the challenges and opportunities for students in the global marketplace. During the discussion it was emphasised that students need to pursue academic excellence‚ along with cultivating essential life and personal skills for employability and entrepreneurship.

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