Matric: going the extra mile – Bhukulani Secondary School

2011-10-24 09:36

When we arrived at Bhukulani Secondary School in Zondi, Soweto, on Thursday the gate was locked.

We persuaded a groundsman to let us in.

There was not a pupil in sight and we later learned it was the matric farewell function.

Bhukulani is a typical township high school – rows of classrooms and a small quadrangle where ­pupils assemble.

In one of the classrooms Grade 12 learners Siyabulela Mbekeli (18) and Fortunate Mbali Fakude (17) were studying, staying behind after their classmates went to their farewell.

It’s hard to believe that Bhukulani – a non fee-paying school like most in Soweto – achieved a 97% and a 94% pass rate in 2009 and last year respectively.

Fakude’s not surprised. She praised the school’s teachers for their work in preparing the 259 matric pupils for the finals which started this week. “The teachers encouraged us and we had morning and afternoon classes to keep up with the syllabus but no one was left behind,” she said.

Mbekeli said he got an average of 71% in the June exams but some subjects caught learners unprepared.

“The mid-year exams ­weren’t easy but I did well. Some subjects like mathematical literacy and geography were tough, but I ­attended lots of extra classes to make sure I was prepared,” he said.

Preparation involved extra classes at school and extra lessons at the Kutlwanong Centre for Maths, Science and Technology, a section 21 organisation that provides extra maths and science classes on weekends and holidays.

Fakude credited Kutlwanong for helping her improve her maths marks, which increased from 33% in Grade 10 to 76% this year. She said that she was hoping for a ­distinction in maths.

The school’s success was due to the belief that “the most important client is the learner”, principal Mduduzi Mathe said in an interview earlier this year.

“At the beginning of the year we set targets with teachers and work around those targets,” Mathe told City Press. “We don’t get these results from heaven – we work hard.”

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