Business execs who care – It’s your turn to take a ‘walk’ in our principals’ shoes


Since 2018, some of South Africa’s most prominent business executives have shown up for Partners for Possibility’s Execs Back to School event. This was their first step in supporting education in South Africa, and creating #TheFutureWeWant.

Partners for Possibility (PfP), the flagship programme delivered by Symphonia for South Africa (SSA), is gearing up to host the 2021 edition of its popular Execs Back to School event this June – and is calling on all business executives who care about the state of education in South Africa to participate.

Proudly sponsored by investment holding company Sphere Holdings, Execs Back to School facilitates an important cross-sectoral approach to addressing the challenges in South Africa’s education system. Business leaders are given the opportunity to engage with their counterparts to gain important insights into the challenges that are faced by principals in South Africa’s under-resourced schools. It is also a novel way to support PfP’s work in improving education, and to learn more about this internationally acclaimed leadership and education development programme and its recently launched #TheFutureWeWant campaign. According to the CEO of Sphere, Itumeleng Kgaboesele, all South African businesses have an obligation to support disadvantaged schools. “As business leaders, we all have our schooling to thank for giving us access to further study and professional life. To succeed as a country, we need thriving communities built around successful institutions like schools that offer pupils hope and opportunity,” says Kgaboesele.

Traditionally an in-person immersion experience, this year’s event will look slightly different. From 17 – 28 May, business executives will be able to participate in a virtual school visit with a principal. Alternatively, business executives can arrange on onsite school visit in a location of their choice, keeping in mind that COVID-19 protocols must be adhered to.

Following these school visits, Execs Back to School has organised an online session on 3 June for participants to share their observations and insights, and reflect on their experience facilitated by Rama Naidu. Transformational Coach and Speaker, experienced business executive and Founder of the Summits with a Purpose initiative, Saray Khumalo, will feature as the main speaker of the event.

Previous instalments of Execs Back to School saw CEOs and top executives from some of South Africa’s most prominent companies experience schooling environments throughout Johannesburg and Cape Town. Past participants have been unanimous in their praise for the initiative and the perspective it exposed.