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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  11 Aug 2011

EDUCATION: New Donors Join MIC to Beef Up JB Marks Education Trust


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JB Marks Education Trust has won wide-ranging support from corporate donors for its ground-breaking awards programme to foster a learning culture among students from disadvantaged communities and combat high university dropout rates.

Principal officer Jako Mokgosi announced earlier this month that the second annual JB Marks Education Trust Fund awards on September 8 at the Emperors Palace, Ekurhuleni, have the backing of private sector players from across the business spectrum.

Last year’s inaugural awards were supported exclusively by the Mineworkers Investment Company (MIC), principal source of social funding for the Mineworkers Investment Trust and its JB Marks bursary arm.

This year, MIC has been joined by resorts and casino group Peermont, industrial technology company Set Point, leading media owner Primedia, the Absa financial services group, leading vehicle tracking company Tracker and mining group Optimum Coal.

Jako Mokgosi commented: “We partnered with MIC to highlight the need for additional mechanisms to counter daunting dropout rates by motivating young people from impoverished communities who struggle to adjust to long-term study.

“Awards motivate excellence in many spheres, so we decided to introduce an awards programme for those most in need of encouragement – young people with enough ability to enter university who require just a little more support and inspiration if they are to obtain their degree or diploma.

“We are heartened that so many like-minded individuals and organisations see merit in the initiative and now wish to lend support. We salute them all.”

MIC was delighted to welcome additional donors.

A broad support base is vital in view of growing demands placed on JB Marks, a trust that maintains an uninterrupted flow of bursaries NUM members, mining, construction and energy workers, and their dependants, from impoverished rural areas that have traditionally provided resource companies with cheap labour.

MIC chief executive officer Paul Nkuna noted: “It was necessary last year to give a lead and demonstrate the need for additional student support through awards like these.

“The initiative struck a chord as high dropout rates are cause for national concern. We therefore achieved a high media profile. Before and after the presentations, many of our award-winners were interviewed by radio and other media, becoming role-models and sources of inspiration – as we hoped.

“This year’s challenge is to maintain momentum, give more encouragement and create additional role-models. The involvement of more donors enables us to achieve even bigger impact and helps us sustain the effort going forward.”

Among JB Marks Education Trust Fund awards are:

o Most Consistent Learner Award
o JB Marks Merit Award (for three students with the highest aggregate marks who complete their studies within the prescribed timeframe)
o JB Marks Course Awards (for seven top achievers in the fields of commerce and management, engineering and the built environment, science, social sciences, computer studies and technology, medical studies, and the arts and performing arts)
o JB Marks Leader of the Year Award (for a member of the JB Marks graduate group that contributes most to community development)
o Life time achiever Award

Since inception in 1997, JB Marks has helped 673 bursars to graduate. Another 275 bursaries were granted in the 2011 academic year. Currently, 457 JB Marks bursars are studying at various tertiary institutions.


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