Proposal to ‘unite’ Toti schools

2017-06-07 06:02

A STEERING committee consisting of parents whose children attend schools in and outside our area, community leaders and educational leaders made a “courageous” proposal to businessmen, school governing body representatives, teachers and parents on Tuesday, May 30.

The proposal, called the “Trust Toti Schools” initiative, aims to amalgamate three local high schools into one in an attempt to build and strengthen the community and offer the kind of education that will prevent local children from leaving the area to attend schools elsewhere.

Dr Dudley Ford, chairperson of steering committee, welcomed attendees on behalf of the committee.

Presenting the proposal Michael Prashma said: “The committee was set up in May last year and has come almost full circle.”

The idea came about in a conversation between Prashma, a parent with children attending schools outside and in the area, and Andrew Ellis, a parent with primary-school children concerned that his children will possibly have to attend high school outside the area.

“We have such amazing children, wonderful talent that have been created by our feeder schools, only to see them captured by Durban schools,” Ellis said. Prashma said: “My son wanted to attend an all-boys school and is now a weekly boarder. I felt myself, as a pastor of a local church, husband and father, being pulled into another community.

“My finances are now vested in another community and we spend weekends in another community, while I still have two primary school children in local schools. “At a sports event, I felt heartsore for as much as my children have an opportunity for quality education, many children are robbed of an opportunity. “I then wondered what it would be like if we could stir up the community to bring the community together and let the children enjoy big government schools?

“People are not only relocating their children, but their entire families and this affects our property prices and local businesses. “We have great schools in Amanzimtoti, but I asked myself how could it be better?” Prashma said. The committee’s vision is to build one school, possibly called “Kings College” with three campuses.

The proposal calls for Amanzimtoti High to be the all-girls campus, Kingsway High, an all-boys campus and Kuswag a co-ed, all with shared state-of-the-art facilities.

The vision is to have the most sought-after school campuses, the best teachers, sports coaches, coaching and facilities, the best resources, a boarding establishment, increased buy-in, therefore investment from the local community, bigger attendances at school events by the community and greater ownership by the community.

At the meeting questions were raised as to whether the committee had any buy-in from high-school principals and the Department of Education.

Kuswag and Kingsway High reserved comment for a later stage. Amanzimtoti High prinicipal Louise Lemmer said she would consider giving the proposal her support.

The proposal, called the “Trust Toti Schools” initiative, aims to amalgamate three local high schools into one

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