BCF News & Articles
Maki with her winners at SS Paki
Written by Alan   

8 April 2021

Maki Maloyi, who was an HOD acting as Principal of the SS Paki Secondary School in the township outside of the village of Vredefort in the Free State province of South Africa, kindly sent me a photograph of her with some members of the winning matriculation class of 2011.

In 2010 only 32% of learners passed their matriculation examination. In 2011 Maki and her entire team of HODs attended the BCF South African Schools Centre of Excellence Programme. The results achieved by the learners in the November 2011 matriculation examinations (yes, in the same year they attended the Programme), 91% of the learners obtained a matriculation pass.

Maki told me that initially only a third of the teachers bought in to reinventing their school to become a centre of excellence, but after a series of quick wins more gradually came on board as did the parents, the learners and entire community.

I am retelling this story for two reasons. Firstly because she shared the photo with me, but more importantly, because no other school leadership team, of the hundreds who have attended the Schools Centre of Excellence Programme, have achieved such an amazing turnaround - 32% to 91% in the year they were trained.

if your parents are poor, where can you get an excellent education?
Written by Alan   

10 March 2021

This is a photo of Nanapang Primary School in southern Malawi.

While we pray that funds become available to build a modern well equipped school, the sad truth is that millions of children are taught under trees, in wooden structures like Namapanga PS, in corrugated iron classrooms and mud huts.

The quality of the academic results however are in the hands of the teachers, school management and parents.

If they work as a team they can create a centre of excellence using the resources they have. A school is not a brick structure but comprises a team of teachers, students, managers and parents. The academic outcomes depend upon them.

Quality education depends upon who stands at the front of the classroom. Physical resources play a key role but equipping human resources - our teachers - is priority number one and here BCF can play a vital role.

BCF can provide the principal/head teacher of each school with the strategies, leadership skills and management systems to reinvent their schools through the International Schools Centre of Excellence Programme.

By implementing this Programme in each country, every single one of the estimated one million under-performing schools in the world could be turned into a centre of excellence.

The cost of building modern brick schools to provide every child with beautiful school would cost billions of dollars and would do little to ensure each child receives an excellent education. For 2-3 million dollars each country could transform education at every school.

Breaking News: Great results despite Covid
Written by Alan   

1 March 2021

Students in South Africa received their matriculation results last week.

Because schools were closed for weeks due to Covid and had to adapt to distance learning, many without internet or computers, the Minister of Education said she was expecting “a bloodbath”.

Despite Covid, at schools whose head teachers had attended the BCF International Schools Centre of Excellence Programme the percentage of students gaining a university (A Level) or technical university matriculation pass  increased by 3% in 2020 compared to 2019. This is a massive achievement as these schools are situated in poverty-stricken rural villages, in the semi-desert Kalahari and the sprawling townships on the outskirts of cities.

A hugely impressive 73% of students at these schools obtained a university (A Levels) or technical university pass.

Sadly, tens of thousands of students who attend 1,020 schools in the rural Limpopo Province on the Zimbabwe border would also have been awarded a university or technical university matriculation pass had Covid not stopped the training of head teachers of their schools on 23 March 2020. Hopefully this programme will restart later this year.

This legacy programme is funded by Worley Ltd who are developing the biggest diamond mine in the world for De Beers in the Limpopo Province.

Worley’s investment is only £93.38 per school or 21p per student. Surely there is no other social investment which provides such an excellent return to transform lives.

Every country should train all its principals to transform their schools into cenres of excellence
Written by Alan   

16 February 2021

In a book entitled Driving School Improvement: A practical guide written by Pamela Macklin and Vic Zbar the authors state "A lot of time has been spent in Australia talking about what needs doing in schools at a time when leaders know what they have to do. They all appreciate, to use the jargon, the need to 'raise the bar and narrow the gap'. The challenge is less the 'what ' than the 'how'. How to consistently implement the key strategies the school has chosen to adopt in ways that are sustainable through time."

We could not agree more.

Since 2011 through its International Schools Centre of Excellence Programme the Billion Child Foundation has trained hundreds of principals to develop strategies, leadership skills and management systems to transform the culture of their schools into centres of excellence. Over 94% of the principals have seen academic outcomes rocket to reach levels achieved by the best government schools in their countries. It is the HOW which enables sustainable change at each school. The majority of these schools are situated in rural areas with indigenous populations.

Whereas the authors report on efforts of individual principals, or clusters of schools working together, BCF contracts with national, state or provincial ministries of education to train their school inspectors/circuit managers to train every principal in their respective countries, states or provinces to transform all their schools into centres of excellence. Every country needs to train every principal of its under-performing schools how to change the school culture to ensure every child has the opportunity to obtain an excellent education at a school which operates as a centre of excellence and enjoys a high-performance culture.

This book is featured in this week's edition of the Australian Teacher magazine.

Who says there are no solutions to family and gender based violence?
Written by Alan   

11 February 2021

TV and radio stations all over the world regularly hold talk shows about the pandemic of family and gender-based violence. I have never heard a programme which does not end with a conclusion that little or nothing can be done.


The SAPS commander in Sasolburg, an industrial city in South Africa reported that callouts to family violence in Refengkgotso - a rural town in the Free State Province - declined by more than 50% for more than two years after 73 religious leaders had trained thousands of parents in practical parenting skills.

These religious leaders not only trained parents living in and around their churches. They visited each home regularly to coach parents facing challenges in implementing the practical parenting skills they had taught the parents and preached family values at church on most Sundays.

Life in Refengkgotso is tough. Over 75% of adults are unemployed. Gangsterism and substance abuse are rife. Educational outcomes are low with many students dropping out of school and there are high levels of teenage and pre-teenage pregnancy. Many people are perpetually angry and feel they have been abandoned by the government and society. There couldn't be a worse place to expect parents to transform their parenting, to stop physical, mental and emotional abuse and replace these abhorrent and destructive habits with 21st century cutting edge practical parenting skills, and to walk the talk.

Why not make a difference. Contact me today. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it    We can train you to train people in your community in practical parenting skills which will transform family and gender-based violence.


Training facilitators to present the Win-Win Parenting Skills Programme in Diepsloot -one of the world's most dangerous townships.

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