In March 2013, KST and the Free State Department of Education entered into Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to improve education in the Free State province. The MoU, between KST and the FSDoE, served as a vital component in the transformation of basic education in South Africa. The nature of the KST partnership with the Free State Department of Education, has contributed significantly towards getting the programme off the ground.

The combined financial leveraging has been accompanied by strategic and technical leveraging to ensure that the vision of KST is realised, that is, leveraging each partners’ strategic and technical expertise.


Through this integration, the District Whole School Development (DWSD) model is poised to influence a broader systemic change in the education sector. The DWSD model is aimed at transforming public school education based on a district by district approach across South Africa.

The implementation of the programme commenced in 2014, in two Free State districts: Motheo and Fezile Dabi. Five years into the programme and we are excited and energised to continue the work we do to uplift schools, educators, learners and communities. As KST, we recommit ourselves to serving our children and our country.


KST is run by passionate individuals, dedicated to making an impact in changing the landscape of education in South Africa.

The dedicated workstreams are complemented by the knowledge, guidance and strategic leadership of all four organisations (Free State Department of Education, Kagiso Trust and Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation and FirstRand Empowerment Foundation).

This is a unique pilot project and various committees are in place to mitigate potential risks and ensure proper governance and accountability at all levels.

The District Whole Schools Development Model seeks to see a large number of schools undergo systematic transformation through its four-prong approach as follows:
Transformation and Empowerment Workshops:

  • Curriculum development through educator capacitation and training
  • Infrastructure development
  • Instructional Leadership and Governance in the school, including Youth Leadership development

District Whole School Development programme impact figures in the Fezile Dabi and Motheo Districts 2013 to 31 March 2019:

Learners indirectly impacted by the Empowerment and Transformation workshops
Learners referred for further medical attention
Learners underwent vision screening
School facilities renovated
Temporary jobs created