GROWING TEACHERS FOR TOMORROW
We offer comprehensive bursaries to selected talented and hard-working black students, who could not otherwise afford a tertiary degree, to study for a teaching degree, while gaining valuable work experience as full-time teacher interns at top schools. We help our bursary recipients escape the poverty cycle by building sustainable careers in teaching, while also developing the passionate and professional teachers that South Africa so badly needs.
WHAT SETS US APART
OUR INTERNS ARE NOT STRANGERS TO US.
- We source our interns from previously disadvantaged and financially underprivileged communities through schools and programmes that we know well.
WE SUPPORT THEM BEFORE THEY RECEIVE BURSARIES.
- We start supporting our interns during school through our Matric Programme to help them achieve the best final school results that they can, and we start preparing them for life after school.
WE ENSURE THAT THEY ARE SUITED TO TEACHING.
- During matric, our intern candidates need to complete an aptitude test and they job-shadow teachers at a top Johannesburg school for a week.
- The application process includes a character assessment, a letter of motivation and numerous interviews.
OUR COMPREHENSIVE AND LAYERED MENTORING SYSTEM.
- Each intern has two mentors: A Workplace Mentor and a Goodwill Mentor.
- They receive individual additional academic tuition, have full access to a counsellor and have free 24/7 access to Realema’s Management.
- They receive additional life skills workshops and share knowledge in monthly gatherings.
OUR PARTNER SCHOOL SYSTEM.
- Our Partner Schools are top schools who support our vision and give freely of their time and expertise to help our interns succeed. During the four years of their internship, they receive unparrallelled work experience, which ensures a professional approach to teaching once they graduate.
WE OFFER THEM FULL ACCOMMODATION.
- Our interns receive food and lodging at our Partner Schools. This eliminates daily commuting stress and expenses, and reduces some of the pressures they may experience in their home environments.
WE OFFER ACADEMIC SUPPORT
Distance study is challenging when you work full-time. Our interns receive a laptop, individual academic tutoring, lessons in time management, study skills, etc. and administrative support to help set them up for academic success.
In 2013, Patrick Lees (then Head of St John’s Preparatory School and now Executive Headmaster of Pridwin) and Pieter Steyn (then Head of Masibambane College) decided to offer teacher internships to deserving matric candidates from Masibambane College in Orange Farm (a township south of Johannesburg), to provide them with a tertiary education opportunity and address the dearth of good teachers in South Africa. Pier Myburgh joined them shortly after, to create and implement a sustainable programme plan. Since then, we have grown exponentially, and are honoured to partner with some of the top schools in and around Johannesburg.
WHAT WE DO
Our programme is divided into two parts: the matric year and the four subsequent years of long-distance tertiary studies for a B.Ed degree, while working as teacher interns at top schools.
We provide academic and emotional support to matrics (and at times to learners in lower grades) so that they can achieve the best matric results possible. Matrics are invited to apply to join the programme as Realema Matric Candidates at the start of each year.
TEACHER INTERNSHIP BURSARIES
We offer full bursaries that include accommodation and living expenses, internship salary, IT equipment, university fees, individual academic tutoring, psychological and other professional support. A comprehensive mentoring program includes the appointment of individual workplace and goodwill mentors, enrichment outings and life-skills coaching. In addition, the interns become fully integrated into the teaching faculty and all aspects of the academic, sporting and extra-curricular lives of the Partner Schools where they are placed.
We get to know our prospective bursary recipients during matric (their last year of school), when we give them life skills lessons such as stress management, study skills, sexual wellbeing and interview skills. They also complete comprehensive aptitude tests and job shadow teachers for a week at a school in Johannesburg, so that they can experience what it feels like to be a teacher and make informed choices about their future. Towards the end of their matric year, after an extensive selection process, successful candidates are offered Realema bursaries.
TEACHER INTERNSHIP BURSARY
Tertiary bursary: We support bursary recipients for the four years that it takes them to complete a BEd degree. The interns become fully integrated into the teaching faculty of our Partner Schools. The bursaries include:
University fees and books
Accommodation and food
Laptop and IT support
Individual academic tutoring
Professional psychological counselling
Comprehensive mentorship that includes two mentors per intern
Life skills workshops such as financial management, workplace etiquette, time management and goal setting
Assistance with medical aid
Assistance in applying for teaching posts after graduation
Total cost to Realema/intern/annum: R101 597
Total cost per intern for the four years to complete a teaching degree: R406 388
We only offer a bursary if we have donations or strong pledges in place to cover the four years that it takes to complete a teaching degree.
Our Partner Schools provide accommodation and food and pay the interns’ stipend. Some partner schools also offer to pay the university fees.
We have offered 42 internship bursaries in 2021. Twenty-one students have already graduated through Realema and are working in South African schools as full-time professional teachers. We expect another eleven students to graduate at the end of 2021. Our graduates join our alumni association, called Realumni.
Many teachers and volunteers offer hours of their time and expertise to contribute to Realema's success, and we are grateful to them all.
Founder, Executive Committee and Trustee
Patrick is a passionate educator with 25 years’ experience as a teacher. He served as headmaster of our founding Partner School, St John’s Preparatory for 10 years and he is currently the Executive Headmaster of Pridwin Preparatory School. Patrick has a heartfelt desire to develop teachers in the holistic interest of children. He is excited about transformation and 21st century education and its relevance to the South African context.
Director, Executive Committee and Trustee
Pier Myburgh started her working life as a journalist at the Financial Mail. She became a stockbroker in 1988, trading derivatives for ten years, during which time she owned her own stockbroking business. She has completed a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing and published several short stories in South Africa and the USA. After heading up corporate sustainability at Liberty and Absa Capital, she joined Patrick Lees in 2013, to help him design, launch and implement Realema’s strategy.
Manager, Executive Committee
Susan Crosse qualified as a chartered accountant in 2000 after completing her articles at Deloitte. Her career included both external and internal audit, as well as a financial director role for a medium-sized short and long-term insurance company. While studying honours in Industrial and Organisational Psychology, she joined the St John’s College Foundation, where her passion for improving our country by growing passionate and capable teachers was kindled.
Nombuso Ramokgopa qualified as a professional nurse from Chris Hani-Baragwanath Nursing College in 1996 and has worked in both the public and private healthcare sectors in various capacities. She is involved in the care space for the elderly and in youth and women upliftment projects. Nombuso holds a Master’s Degree in Bioethics from Wits University, is a member of the IoDSA and serves on boards of several non-profit organisations.
Graeme is an Independent Business Advisor and Non-Executive Director serving on several boards and governance committees. His previous executive roles include being the Head of Corporate Banking and the Private Bank at Standard Bank, as well as a Senior Industrial Advisor at Financial Investment Group Brait. He has been a Trustee of the St John’s College Foundation since 2009 and served as Chairman from January 2016 to May 2018. He was a member of the St John’s College Council from 2010 until February 2019 and has served as a Trustee on the Natures Valley Trust since 2009.
DR DANIEL PRETORIUS
Daniel Pretorius is a partner at Bowmans, practising in the public law and regulatory areas, with a special focus on education. Daniel has served on the governing bodies of St John’s College, Holy Family College, St Martin de Porres School, and St Augustine College of South Africa. From 2013 until 2018, he took a sabbatical from law to teach History and Latin at St John’s College. During that time, he served on many of the school’s committees, including the transformation & diversity committee.
Steve spent 13 years as the managing director at Grant Thornton Capital, at the time one of the biggest independent financial planning businesses in SA. He was a member of the founding team of Omega Capital, a specialist wealth management company, in 2009. Finding balance and understanding his purpose in life is important to Steve. His work as a Realema trustee enables him to connect his passion for education, financial management and social service.
Where the tremendous effort of our interns, donors, partner schools, mentors and friends intersect, you will find Realema. As much as Realema influences others, so others influence Realema. Together, we are making a difference to South African education and communities.
WITHOUT OUR WONDERFUL PARTNERS, REALEMA WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE.
We partner with top schools in and around Johannesburg, who freely share their expertise and teaching resources with our interns. Our interns receive a stipend, and food and lodging at the schools, which greatly reduces the stress and expense that goes with commuting and living away from home.
Realema means to grow, plow or farm. Just like the African Rock Rose, our interns are beautiful, grateful and hardy. We rely on donations to do our work, and behind every gift that we receive, is an individual or group of people who understands the importance of transforming teaching in South Africa, to secure a future for our children and grandchildren.
MENTORS AND FRIENDS
We pride ourselves on the depth and quality of support that we offer our interns – from matric until they graduate with a Bachelor of Education degree. Our mentoring programmes rely heavily on volunteers; we are most grateful to our many wonderful mentors and friends, who help us grow the teachers of tomorrow.
HELP US GROW TEACHERS
MAKE A DONATION
Your donation will help us to discover and grow the best teaching potential from our communities.
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You can make a direct deposit to the following bank account:
Realema Teacher Intern Programme
Ref: Your name and email so that we can acknowledge your generosity (you may elect to remain anonymous).