2002 Winner
Gauteng Province, South Africa
Impumelelo Innovations Award Trust
Impumelelo Innovations Award Trust
South Africa

GET SET! is an acronym for Girls' Education and Training for Science, Engineering and Technology. In 2001, less than 800 African matric candidates achieved the higher grade passes in maths needed to qualify for university entrance. They remain the most severely disadvantaged group in respect of opportunities to enter higher education. The project's main objective is to increase the number of girls from Tembisa high schools that successfully choose, prepare for and enter post-school career directions in science, engineering and technology. The project is a partnership between Denel Aviation, PROTEC, a non-profit education service provider, the Tembisa community and the Canon Collins Educational Trust for South Africa. Denel Aviation is part of the Denel group, a parastatal in the defence industry and is accountable to the Ministry of Public Works and is the lead agent in the project. The project is supported by the district office of the Gauteng Department of Education.

Innovation: This is the first inter-sectoral development project exclusively for 'black' high school girl learners. The use of both people and resources from industry and education to address gender imbalances in the economy through a non-formal development programme is an innovation in South Africa.

Effectiveness: Thus far 100% attendance by the 80 selected girls and a significant improvement in academic progress has been noted, while the departments of education and labour has recognised the project as an exemplary development initiative. Thus far there has been a growth in interpersonal and social skills and they will have access to career opportunities and support that have not existed previously.

Poverty Impact: The project addresses the economic discrimination that has prevented the participation of African women in the technical economy. It also opens up opportunities for women from Tembisa in a significant local industry that has currently very few Tembisa residents involved in it. Once running at full speed, the project will involve 300 girls per year.

Sustainability: Funding is provided by Denel Aviation, while the Gauteng Department of Education provides support. The partnership between these two institutions is critical for the success of the project. The formal commitment of the schools from which the girls are chosen and the families of the participants are also important for the sustainability of the project.

Replication: The project is extremely cost-effective and can be repeated easily in other locations, while the size of the project can be altered to suit the needs of the community. Manuals are available for replication. Main constraints include bias towards women, support from various sectors and ownership concerns.