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Corporate citizenship

Calling all Grade 12s who want to be part of transforming education: Apply before 31 Aug

Do you want to play a leading role in developing our country and see the classroom as a powerful channel to do so? Do you know someone who does?

The Jakes Gerwel Fellowship, an independent and aspirational initiative birthed out of Allan Gray Orbis Foundation’s Endowment, is committed to creating a pipeline of future, high-impact, expert teachers and educational leaders. It aims to achieve its vision by identifying, educating and equipping demographically diverse individuals who have the potential to excel and make a significant impact in education.

The opportunity

An inaugural cohort of twenty Grade 12s will be selected as Candidate Fellows to start their university studies in 2018 at either the University of Cape Town or the University of Pretoria. In addition to their academic studies, students will benefit from a world-class Fellowship Programme providing access to personal coaches, mentors and expert teachers, along with annual teaching internships and experiential learning opportunities. After completing their 3-year undergraduate degree, students will qualify as high school teachers through a PGCE and then enter a 2-year induction phase as they are placed in partner schools as beginner teachers. Ongoing support and development will be offered through communities of practice.


What it covers

Apply before 31 August at 20:00

Click here to apply.

As expert teachers and educational leaders, Jakes Gerwel Fellows will be at the forefront of solving the most pressing educational challenges, and in so doing influence every school in South Africa.

For more information, please visit


As a premium scholarship provider, Allan Gray Orbis Foundation has close, country-wide contact with school principals and teachers in identifying South Africa’s brightest young entrepreneurial talent. This extensive engagement revealed a consistent and haunting plea: “Where will South Africa’s next generation of teaching talent come from?”

Over time, there was a dawning realisation that Allan Gray Orbis Foundation had a moral imperative to respond to this call to action. A long-term commitment was needed to address both the educational and entrepreneurial dimensions of our society in enhancing our country’s transformational capacity. There was also the recognition that no education system can ever supersede the capacity of its teachers and this was where the response had to lie.

In April 2017, the Board of Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Endowment gave the commitment to create the Jakes Gerwel Fellowship to honour the legacy of a true high impact teacher who was also the Foundation’s inaugural Chairperson and a close confident to former President Nelson Mandela.

Like many education systems around the world, South Africa must deal with the twin challenges of closing the achievement gap gulf between pupils from under-resourced environments and their wealthier peers, and ensuring that pupils gain the knowledge, skills and values necessary to flourish in the modern economy.  As Matthew Hood, the Chief Executive of the Institute for Teaching, reminds us, failure to do so is “morally indefensible and economically unsustainable”.

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