Ex learners help old school excel

2016-03-17 06:00

An initiative by the class of 2015 to improve matric results at Ikamva Lethu High School in Langa hasborne fruit.

The school invited the former learners for an Appreciation Day event which was aimed at showing gratitude for their efforts; improving the results from 35.7 percent in 2014 to 60 percent in 2015.

The learners pulled all the strings to ensure that the reputation of the school was a thing of the past.

They asked to sleep-over at the school during June and August examinations to ensure that they do not get disrupted in their studies.

Naledzani Masutha, the school principal, said that a decision was taken by the learners after they raised their concerns that they cannot study at home because there are shebeens at some of the learner’s houses and that some have very noisy neighbours.

Masutha said they went ahead with the learner’s recommendations despite opposition from the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) and the local police officers who were concerned about their safety.

“They did not have hot water for bath, but that did not stop them. We also did not have enough mattresses. There were challenges, but they went ahead. It was a WOW year for us. We did things that were never done before. The teachers would come to school as early as 5am and leave at 11pm. It was really unbelievable to see them taking ownership of their education,” she said.

Local churches, shops owned by somalians, Community Patrol Forum (CPF) and parents contributed with grocery for learners to eat and also safety of the learners.

Teachers also gave way to learners to utilise their staffroom to use as bedroom.

The school, which was a finishing school until 2002, managed to increase the number of bachelors from nine in 2014 to 15 in 2015.

They also increased the number of diplomas from 19 in 2014 to 37 in 2015.

There were 143 learners who sat for 2015 examinations and 90 of them slept-over at the school during the examination period.

The school did not allow the learners to sleep-over during the final examinations as they did not want them to be overworked, but the learners went ahead and found another place at Masifundisane Academy Centre, in the area, where they slept-over.

Masutha said the teachers are aiming for 70 percent this year, but learners said they want nothing less than 80 percent.

“We want to improve on what we got last year. We already have plans for using the last year’s strategy. This was never done before. We were stretched.”

Learners are due to move-in the school on May 29 till 15 June and on 28 August till September 22.

The school has 123 learners this year.

Luyolo Duma, learner from 2015 class, said he was happy that their plan was fruitful.

“We realised that some of the learners could not study at home, because of noisy neighbours and other reasons so we decided to camp at the school. We helped each other as learners. I feel very excited because our school was known as failing school, but we managed prove a point that we can change that. The school is now seen differently from what it was,” Duma said.

Duma is now an assistant teacher at Langa High School.

He was forced to drop-out from the University of Western Cape (UWC) because of health reasons, this year.

He said he is willing to help this year’s class at his former school to ensure that they do not drop the standard they have set.

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