Cape Town, South Africa

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Community Initiative

In May 2011, Johnson & Johnson officially launched the first BTE program in Africa. In Cape Town, South Africa, Johnson & Johnson partnered with the National Business Initiative (NBI), three institutions of higher education, various community partners, and government agencies to provide 50 students (Grade 10 in 2011) enrolled at Zwaanswyk High School with mathematics, science and life skills supports in order to access tertiary education and a possible career in the health sector. Specifically, the program offered:

  • Academic Tutoring. Cape Peninsula University students offered 20 math and science tutorials during the course of the school year to BTE students.
  • BTE Club. Through a BTE club, BTE students were exposed to experiential learning. The club also focused on computer literacy, presentation skills, public speaking, and debates.
  • Career Coaching. Johnson & Johnson employees offered lunch-n-learn opportunities, company site visits, and career coaching to expose students to the world of work. Johnson & Johnson also provided job-shadowing opportunities in the third year of the program.
  • Peer Tutoring. Student study groups fostered success on the South African examinations.
  • Open Days & Student for a Day. Institutions of higher learning offered open days, enabling students to visit various university science and health departments. BTE students also served as “a student for a day” to better understand post-secondary student life.
  • Skills Workshops. Students participated in life orientation seminars and life skills workshops to improve their “soft” skills. In Year 1, the workshops focused on self-awareness, communication, and decision making. In subsequent years, the workshops targeted interviewing, resumes, leadership, self management, critical thinking, and analytical abilities.
  • Service Learning. Students designed and led a “healthy living” project for the broader Zwaanswyk community.
  • Teacher Development. The University of the Western Cape worked with Zwaanswyk High School teachers to provide professional development focused on math and physical sciences curriculum content, teaching methodology and assessment measures.
  • Winter School. A winter school (camp) focused on building math, science and life skills.


BTE students were highly successful. An evaluation of the program found the following:

  • 100 percent of BTE graduates passed the final Matric Examination vs. the 90 percent overall passage rate at Zwaanswick High School. Six (6) BTE students received high marks, obtaining “B” and automatic admission to higher education for a Bachelors degree
  • 100 percent of BTE graduates reported good or excellent teamwork skills.
  • 100 percent of BTE graduates reported that the BTE program increased their awareness of jobs in the health and science fields.
  • 100 percent of BTE graduates reported that the BTE program prepared them to achieve their career goals.
  • 81 percent of BTE graduates reported a connection with a Johnson & Johnson employee.

The program was so successful the local Johnson & Johnson operating company elected to fund an additional BTE program for a new cohort of students.

More Information


ABTS 2013: Cape Town, South Africa Student Ambassador Video


ABTS 2012 Team 2 Video

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