Education is key to uplifting previously disadvantaged communities by equipping today’s youth and tomorrow’s leaders to take their rightful place in society as enablers of a thriving economy. Many South African schools, especially in rural areas, are struggling to fulfil this mandate by providing a suitable teaching environment.

When water, electricity and proper classrooms are lacking at a school, learning cannot be optimised. Sitting in a cold, dark shack where the ceiling is threatening to crash down and being unable to grasp new concepts because even a blackboard is lacking will impede even the brightest learner.

Bigen is making a lasting impact in this field by assisting the National Department of Basic Education’s Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery initiative in eradicating backlogs in providing adequate infrastructure for schools throughout South Africa. The focus is on the provision of water, sanitation and electricity, and the replacement of inappropriate building materials such as mud, wood, and asbestos.

Bigen is involved in multiple functions, including that of project management, and has seen the delivery of more than 60 schools, benefiting over 15 000 learners. Through providing safe, enabling classrooms, Bigen is helping to ensure optimum levels of learning and teaching, allowing learners to develop their potential, and restoring their (and their communities’) dignity and pride in their schools. These communities are also benefiting from the many employment opportunities that the infrastructure delivery programme brings.

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