Employment Opportunities: Zero Dropout Schools Initiative

The Zero Dropout Schools Initiative incubated by DG Murray Trust is working toward the vision of halving the number of learners who are pushed out of the basic education system before grade 12 by 2030. This ambitious vision aims to set a common agenda and provides direction and clarity to mobilise and direct the activities of a diverse range of stakeholders towards the same critical outcomes.

To this end, The Zero Dropout Schools Initiative is recruiting for four positions. Please click on the links below to jump to the relevant position, or scroll to view all the positions.

  1. COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST
  2. PROJECT LEAD: READING FOR MEANING
  3. MENTOR MANAGER: READING FOR MEANING
  4. MOBILISATION AND CAMPAIGNS MANAGER

COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST

The Zero Dropout Schools Initiative is recruiting a Communication Specialist to design, develop, and execute a public communication and advocacy strategy. The Communication Specialist will be part of a small, dynamic team focused on driving strategies to prevent learners from leaving school before completing grade 12. The ideal candidate is passionate about social change in South Africa and understands how to inspire social change through compelling and shareable content.

Job function and responsibilities:

  • Using narrative and data-driven storytelling to demonstrate the scale of the learner drop-out problem and the possible solutions.
  • Using data to develop an annual flagship publication tracking the state of South Africa’s basic education system and the implications for learner throughput.
  • Position the Zero School Drop-out Initiative as a thought leader and innovator on the issue of learner dropout in South Africa.

Skills and qualifications

  • A relevant degree – such as one in journalism, communications, or social sciences
  • Minimum 5 years’ experience in a similar field.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Additional South African languages a plus.
  • Skills in interpreting data, framing and presenting arguments
  • The ability to apply research insights and knowledge of behaviour change and communication theory to a practical implementation plan
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Proven ability to combine creativity and critical thinking to construct compelling stories using well-presented data in various formats including text, video, audio and graphics (data visualisation/data storytelling).
  • Geared towards working in a collaborative environment
  • Drivers License and willingness to travel essential.
  • The following competencies would be preferable:
    • Excellent knowledge of the SA media landscape including radio, outdoor, TV and print
    • Proven ability to engage with the media.
    • A background in advocacy work.

This is a 12 month, fixed term contract. Salary negotiable based on skills and experience. The position is based in Cape Town. The position will require domestic travel. Interested candidates should send a short letter of motivation, CV, and the names and contact details of three references by email to fiona@i-resourcing.co.za by 18 March 2019.


PROJECT LEAD: READING FOR MEANING

In order to meet their ambitious target, one of the key strategies towards driving the development of a national network of ‘Zero Dropout Schools’, is to develop and demonstrate catch-up of reading for meaning as a core competency that underpins school (and life) success. To this end, the Zero Dropout School initiative is recruiting a Project Lead to design, drive and manage a reading accelerator pilot programme, for older learners who are behind their reading age.

Job Function and responsibilities

  • Design, organise and manage all logistics of the pilot reading for meaning programme in 2 provinces
  • Manage all stakeholder relations including partner NGOs and schools;
  • Recruit and manage trainers, mentors, partners, and reading volunteers required to implement the project
  • Oversee branding and marketing design; of all project materials and ensure these are appropriate and functional.
  • Surface learnings from the pilot project and ensure this is documented and analysed.

Core skills and background:

  • A relevant postgraduate qualification – such as one in the field of education, project management, and/or community development.
  • Minimum 5 years track record of managing large-scale projects in the NGO sector.
  • Experience in designing and/or managing large-scale community-focused programmes.
  • The ability strategize, make things happen in a start-up context and work in a context of uncertainty.
  • Have tenacity and ingenuity to design and drive a project from initiation to completion
  • Project Lead has the ability to see the big picture and develop a responsive strategy, but they also have an eye for detail and can design effective processes and procedures for project roll-out.
  • Evidence of strong people and management skills and experience working with and managing, diverse teams of people
  • A strong understanding of M&E and quality assurance strategies for project management
  • Experience in budget management
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate well in verbal and written formats.
  • Drivers License and willingness to travel essential
  • The following experience is preferable:
  • implementation or design of literacy-based interventions
  • Fluent in at least 2 South African official languages.
  • Experience in working with schools

The suitable candidate has the ability to design and manage effective implementation strategies for a large scale literacy intervention. They have the ability to work in the start-up context and respond to the real challenges of implementing something new on the ground. They are able to work with diverse stakeholders – from volunteers to school staff to education officials and inspire people to become champions of the project.

This is a 12 month, fixed term, contract. Salary negotiable based on skills and experience. The position is based in Cape Town. The position will require domestic travel. Interested candidates should send a short letter of motivation, CV, and the names and contact details of three references by email to fiona@i-resourcing.co.za by 18 March 2019.


MENTOR MANAGER: READING FOR MEANING

In order to meet their ambitious target, one of the key strategies towards driving the development of a national network of ‘Zero Dropout Schools’, is to develop and demonstrate catch-up of reading for meaning as a core competency that underpins school (and life) success. To this end, the Zero Dropout School initiative is recruiting a Mentor Manager to work closely with the Project Lead and will provide mentorship to community reading volunteers and oversee quality assurance.

Job Function and Responsibilities:

  • Develop a practical mentorship support programme for community reading volunteers based on learnings from the ground and research;
  • Extend this to develop a practical training and support programme and management system for mentors;
  • Develop the recruitment and selection process of mentors; co-develop a quality assurance system; and contribute to the overall development and rollout of the programme.
  • Manage all stakeholder relations on the ground

Core skills and background:

    • A relevant degree in the field of education, project management, and/or community development.
    • Minimum of 3 years track record of managing the implementation of projects in the NGO sector
    • Experience in mentorship or coaching would be preferable
    • The ability to make things happen in a start-up environment, think strategically and provide clarity and direction in uncertain contexts.
    • Strong people and management skills and experience working with diverse and widespread teams.
    • Ability to communicate well in verbal and written formats. The Mentor Manager must be fluent in English and at least one other South African language, preferably Xhosa.
    • Experience with volunteer management and volunteer driven programmes
    • Experience in literacy-driven programmes is preferable.
    • Driver’s license and willingness to travel essential.

The suitable candidate will be proactive, able to mentor others, able to project manage and responsive ways and enjoy implementation work in a start-up context.

This is a 12 month, fixed term, contract. Salary negotiable based on skills and experience. The position is based in Cape Town. The position will require domestic travel. Interested candidates should send a short letter of motivation, CV, and the names and contact details of three references by email to fiona@i-resourcing.co.za by 18 March 2019.


MOBILISATION AND CAMPAIGNS MANAGER

The Zero Dropout Schools initiative is recruiting a Mobilisation and Campaign Manager to provide strategic vision and drive the development and mobilisation of a network of schools committed to Zero Dropout. The Mobilisation and Campaigns Manager will be required to:

Job function and responsibilities

Develop, execute, and manage a national school mobilisation and behaviour change strategy

  • Develop and execute a mobilisation strategy to create a network of schools that are committed to the vision of Zero Dropout.
  • Create and drive mechanisms for engaging schools, communities, and learners around an agenda for zero dropout.
  • Develop platforms that sustain and grow the movement and build feedback loops for continued engagement and learnings amongst schools and stakeholders.

Develop, execute and manage a public advocacy strategy for schools

  • Develop and facilitate mechanisms and platforms that allow the network of schools to collectively advocate for change.
  • Surface learnings and progress from school and stakeholder engagement, and work with the Communication Manager to ensure these are documented and packaged for public communications products across various mediums.

Core skills and background:

  • A relevant postgraduate qualification – such as in the field of education, project management, and/or community development.
  • Minimum 3 years track record of managing large national projects in the NGO sector
  • Evidence of the ability to make things happen, to think strategically & provide clarity and direction under conditions of uncertainty.
  • Experience in advocacy, campaign or behaviour change work;
  • Someone who enjoys engaging with people is persuasive and can inspire champions for the Zero Dropout agenda.
  • Fluent in 2+ South African official languages.
  • Drivers License and willingness to travel essential.
  • Experience in working with schools is preferable.

This is a 12 month, fixed term, contract. Salary negotiable based on skills and experience. The position is based in Cape Town. The position will require domestic travel, possibly for extended periods of time.

Interested candidates should send a short letter of motivation, CV, and the names and contact details of three references by email to fiona@i-resourcing.co.za by 18 March 2019.