Southern Oil’s Canola Development Trust Empowers Future Generations Through Education

Swellendam, South Africa May 2024

Southern Oil’s Canola Development Trust Empowers Future Generations Through Education
Southern Oil's Canola Development Trust Empowers Future Generations Through Education

Southern Oil, a leading producer in the agricultural sector, reaffirms its commitment to community well-being through its unwavering support of the Canola Development Trust that heads up two educational systems that are the first of its kind in South Africa.

The CanoLees programme, cleverly named to merge “canola” with “lees” (meaning “reading” in Afrikaans), promotes literacy and education among the children of farmworkers and employees around the canola fields. Meanwhile, CanoTel blends “canola” with “tel” (meaning “counting” in Afrikaans), focusing on improving numeracy skills through data collection, statistical analysis, and overall numeracy enhancement. There is a pun on “cano” which translate too “I can now”. Canoless -I can now read, and canotel I can count.

The programmes are managed on behalf of the Canola Development Trust by CAP, a non-profit organisation based in Swellendam dedicated to creating opportunities and growth in rural communities through education and job creation.

Encouraging Individuality

Both programmes, founded in 2021, are based on the Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) approach, an evidence-based methodology aimed at enhancing foundational literacy and numeracy skills. Originally established as a collaborative effort between Pratham and J-PAL, it has now evolved into an independent organisation registered in Kenya.

Emphasis is put on data-driven action, individualised assessment and continuous monitoring to optimise learning outcomes. They also empower learners to reach their full potential by incorporating Trauma-Informed teaching methods and providing a nurturing environment for learners to thrive.

Community Results

In the past year alone, the CanoLees and CanoTel programmes have yielded remarkable results, with over 600 learners reached by CanoLees and over 400 by CanoTel. Learners have made significant progress, gaining confidence in their ability to read and solve complex mathematical problems and 66 kids have been able to progress two levels or more.

“We understand that the agronomic and manufacturing skills required to compete in a global world are increasing rapidly. We have also learnt that the best level of success is achieved with people from our local communities. We believe that this program will go a long way in eventually bridging the gap between the skills required and the quality of education generally offered,” stated Reney Govender, the Learning and Development Practitioner from Southern Oil.

Acknowledging the connection between business success and community well-being, Southern Oil champions a holistic approach to corporate social responsibility. By actively engaging with the community and investing in initiatives like CanoLees and CanoTel, Southern Oil fosters trust, enhances its reputation, and boosts employee morale while committing to building a brighter future for generations to come.

For further information please visit www.soill.co.za