Leading | Connecting | Learning

Covid-19

 
 
 
 

The Zenex Foundation commitment to partner with stakeholders to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on education delivery and outcomes in South Africa

As a responsive and progressive donor, the Zenex Foundation commits to working collaboratively with all stakeholders in the education ecosystem to ensure that all learners have access to quality learning and teaching and to deal with the impact of COVID-19 on education.

The COVID-19 landscape is ever-changing and we commit to adopting a flexible and agile approach to our grant-making while still maintaining an evidence-based approach.

Consistent with our principle to build knowledge and understanding of what works and does not work in education support, all projects will have an evaluation or research component.

We will pursue partnerships and collaboration in undertaking work that deals with improving learning outcomes. COVID-19 will require a focus on both learning at home and at school. Zenex will provide the necessary resources for parents and teachers, to address learning losses and backlogs in the Foundation and Senior Phases.

The Zenex Foundation is responding to the impact of COVID-19 on education at a number of levels.

Our grant-making
approach

  • Identified clear focus areas.
  • Exploring new initiatives to curb the impact of the pandemic in the education sector.
  • Rapid, but thorough project approval cycle, underpinned by the principle of
    Monitor-adapt-support.
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1. Focus areas
  • Supporting mathematics and language education in the Foundation and Senior Phases.
  • The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will require a focus on both learning at home and at school. Zenex will provide the necessary resources for parents and teachers, to address learning losses and backlogs.
  • Consistent with our principle to build knowledge and understanding of what works and does not work in education support, all projects will have an evaluation or research component.
2. Project approval and monitoring cycle

We have:

  • blended our traditional practice of funding medium- to long-term programmes, with short-term, innovative programmes to accelerate the roll out of solutions,
  • adopted fast turn-around times for proposals,
  • relaxed our reporting requirements to enable partners to focus on programme work.
  • To understand developments on the ground, we conduct ongoing consultations with our partners and beneficiaries.
  • Where context and capabilities change, we adapt our approach to ensure uninterrupted support.

The immediacy of COVID-19 requires us to be flexible and agile while still adhering to good grant-making practices.

Commitment to our partners and beneficiaries

  • Managing current grants and projects and determining the impact of the pandemic on our partners’ operations.
  • Utilising existing capacity.
  • Ensuring sustainability of sector partners.
  • Supporting new thinking and ways of working.

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We remain dedicated to continue working with implementing partners and schools through the COVID-19 crisis by:

 

  • Maintaining regular contact with our partners to keep abreast of their organisational health and capability to continue work.
  • Refocusing affected projects in consultation with partners and aligned to their focus areas and strengths, to contribute to the DBE’s Recovery Plan.
  • Supporting schools (School Management Teams and teachers) where we currently have projects.

Partnering in interventions and participating in various local and international forums

  • Learn and share information.
  • Ensure our own efforts are co-ordinated and aligned.
  • Keep informed and connected.
  • Provide leadership and counsel in sector.
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We will continue to pursue partnerships and collaborative efforts to improve learning outcomes. We recognise that now more than ever, coordinated and collaborative approaches have a better chances of greater impact at scale.

Commitment to our grantees

Our primary objective is to balance the need to support the sustainability of our partners, while responding to the crisis with contributions to bolster joint and government-driven programmes. We remain dedicated to continue working with implementing partners and schools through the COVID-19 crisis by:

  • Maintaining regular contact with our partners to keep abreast of their organisational health and capability to continue work.
  • Refocusing affected projects in consultation with partners and aligned to their focus areas and strengths, to contribute to the DBE’s Recovery Plan.
  • Supporting schools (School Management Teams and teachers) where we currently have projects.

In pursuing all our work we recognise that the wellbeing of our team is integral to successfully supporting our partners. We strive to protect and nurture the mental health and well-being of the Zenex team through this period.

The Zenex Foundation has adopted a three-pronged strategy to mitigate impact of COVID-19 on education:

Supporting curriculum recovery in schools

Working in schools to focus on curriculum recovery and addressing learning backlogs, aligned with Strategy 2025 focus areas.

Supporting learning
at home

Drawing on evidence that the home-school nexus is critical to supporting education in crisis contexts.

Promoting public
education

Building awareness among the education community and broader public around health and safety in schools, and creating networks of citizens working together to limit transmission of COVID-19.