School clears reputation

2018-01-31 06:01
Receiving their awards for best performance at the matric awards ceremony are, from the left, Galerekwe Semau of the Tetlanyo High School (best Quintile 2 school), Omphile Monyera of the Bothithong High School (best Quintile 1 school), Martha Bartlett (MEC for Education in the Northern Cape) and Sylvia Lucas (premier of the Northern Cape).Photo: Boipelo Mere

Receiving their awards for best performance at the matric awards ceremony are, from the left, Galerekwe Semau of the Tetlanyo High School (best Quintile 2 school), Omphile Monyera of the Bothithong High School (best Quintile 1 school), Martha Bartlett (MEC for Education in the Northern Cape) and Sylvia Lucas (premier of the Northern Cape).Photo: Boipelo Mere

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It is back to hard work as the controversial Bothithong High School in Kuruman sets its sights on a 90% pass rate for the class of 2018.

The school, situated about 150 km outside Kuruman in the Joe Morolong Local Municipality, refuses to allow a bad reputation and controversy to cloud the learners’ performance.

The school made headlines for the wrong reasons in 2017 after it was reported that 30 learners had apparently been impregnated by teachers, making it the school with the highest pregnancy rate in the province.

The number of implicated teachers later dropped from three to one after precautionary suspension was put into place.

Clarity was also later given that the number of 30 pregnancies had in fact been calculated over a period of two years.

Charges against the implicated teacher was eventually dropped due to a lack of evidence and he returned to school earlier this year.

Bothithong was among the schools with the best performers in the Senior Certificate Examination, honoured during the matric awards ceremony.

The school emerged as the top-performing Quintile 1 school in the province, as well as the second-best performing school in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District in 2017.

The school prides itself on achieving a pass rate of 85,7%, an improvement from the 69% of 2016, which Omphile Monyera, principal, attributes to the extra hard work that they had put into their learners’ performance.

The learners walked away with 13 bachelor certificates out of 30 matric learners who wrote the final examinations in 2017.

While taking pride in the class of 2018, which are already showing enthusiasm towards achieving a 90% pass rate after a trend was set for them, she reveals that they always work on the same strategy and improved on this.

“On top of the extra lessons and intervention measures by the Department of Education, we always add more. It’s only that we put what we have to good use,” says Monyera.

The school was visited by representatives of the John Taolo Gae­tsewe Developmental Trust (JTGDT), officials of the Department of Education, representatives of the local tribal office, as well as members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) as part of the Back to School campaign on Wednesday, 17 January.

Tumelo Mpolokeng, chief executive officer of the trust, encouraged the learners to regard education as a vital tool to improve their lives and transform the country despite the controversy that surrounded them last year.

“This year (2018) has been declared as the year of Nelson ­Mandela, who was educated and had a love for Education. We need to emulate the good things that Nelson Mandela stood for and identify the values of the former president especially around education. All the best in your academic year of 2018, and in all you do this year, remember to make Nelson Mandela proud,” said Mpolokeng in his motivational speech.

Elaborating on their strategies, the principal says the learners used their 150 tablets to do research, which worked out in time as they had also received access to WiFi coverage to access previous question papers and study material from other provinces.

“Extra camps, including early morning and afternoon classes, also worked out well,” says Monyera.

“On top of all strategies, we give a thumbs-up to our adopt-a-learner system.”

The school has already started with its early morning Mathematics and English classes for matriculants and wishes for financial assistance to upgrade its study material.

A request was further made to the parents and members of the community to supporting any kind of school initiatives that it has in place.

The trust vows to remain resolute in its principal objective to become a strategic partner in order to realise a fully transformed quality public education system that will translate into an equal society.

The trust wished all teachers, learners and broader stakeholders within the education fraternity “a peaceful and successful 2018 academic year”.

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