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Thursday, 24 January 2019 10:25

Quality education matters

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Future scientist, Phakamani Zondi from Boitekong Secondary School in the North West Province, has been named one of Adopt-a-School’s 2018 top achievers for obtaining six discintions in his matric exams.

Eketsang Secondary School in Gauteng improved its matric pass rate by 26.7% in one year, effectively recategorizing the school as a ‘performing school’.

Following the release of the 2018 National Senior Certificate matric results, Adopt-a-School Foundation is celebrating the success of the implementation of their Whole School Development (WSD) model that has helped to deliver quality schooling to hundreds of formerly underperforming schools across the county.

“The release of matric results provides us with an opportunity to examine the success of our interventions in schools. We are delighted that in the past year we have achieved a pass rate of 84% with 1 600 distinctions; a 4% improvement on 2017 results,” says Steven Lebere, Executive Director of the Adopt-a-School Foundation.

The Foundation works closely with 209 schools across the country, including Eketsang Secondary School. Other schools saw their pass rates improve significantly, including:

  • Lehlasedi High School in Mpumalanga, which improved from 54.9% to 80%;
  • Glen Cowie Secondary School in Limpopo improved from 87.3% to 91.4%;
  • Inhlakanipho Secondary School in KwaZulu-Natal improved from 60.5% to 70.5%;
  • Mariazell Senior Secondary School in Eastern Cape improved from 68.8% to 83.3%;
  • and Thandokhulu High School in Western Cape improved from 88.9% to 91.5%, to name just a few of the Foundation’s success stories.

Adopt-a-School Foundation, a partner entity of the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation, implements a holistic and sustainable WSD model which addresses school infrastructure, social welfare, curriculum development and school leadership. “Our focus is not merely results-based, but the learners’ development as a whole,” says Banyana Mohajane, Head of Programmes at Adopt-a-School Foundation. “Learners are often pushed to gain a matric certificate and a higher pass rate against all odds; however, we aim to develop quality results by addressing all obstacles faced by learners in South Africa. This has led to a successful and sustainable quality education system for everyone at our ‘adopted schools,” continues Mohajane.

Historically, the pool of South African learners possessing the necessary matric results required to access universities and TVET programmes has been very small in comparison to the demand. In 2018, the Foundation focussed on quality curriculum delivery and increased the rate of school bachelor passes from 62% to 68%.

Phakamani Zondi from Boitekong Secondary School in the North West is one of Adopt-a-School’s 2018 top achievers. He obtained six distinctions, including 99% for physical science, 94% for life sciences and 89% for mathematics, and was identified as a top performer from Quintile 3 schools in the province. Speaking of his dreams, Zondi says: “I had always wanted to be a scientist, from an early age, I thought that scientists can provide solutions to many problems. I also have an idea that can save the whole planet from global warming, I am planning to invent a conservation generator.” Zondi is being considered for a Cyril Ramaphosa Education Trust (CRET) bursary to study Nuclear Engineering at the University of Witwatersrand this year.

Lindela Mbatha from Welabasha Secondary School in KwaZulu-Natal is another of Adopt-a-School’s 2018 top achievers. She obtained seven distinctions, including 86% for both life sciences and physical science and 80% for mathematics. Lindela will be studying Medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, a long-time supporter of the Adopt-a-School Foundation.

“We are extremely grateful to our corporate and strategic partners for sharing our belief that education is a critical driver for achieving South Africa’s goals for the future,” Lebere concludes.

Published in Science and Education

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