School’s out for Kay Pillay

2015-08-04 06:00
Kay Pillay (left) along with his wife Paliga bids farewell to pupils at Rylands High School last week. Pillay will be retiring after spending his entire 37-year teaching career at the school.

Kay Pillay (left) along with his wife Paliga bids farewell to pupils at Rylands High School last week. Pillay will be retiring after spending his entire 37-year teaching career at the school.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Thirty-seven years. An entire career.

This was Kay Pillay’s tenure at Rylands High School.

The school principal bowed out of his post (occupied since 1999) last week amidst high emotion.

At 62, still filled with vigour and enthusiasm, he feels up to the task of completing his duties until full retirement age in 2017, but just made the decision to retire.

“I didn’t plan this retirement,” said Pillay.

“(At) the end of last year, nothing was on the cards. Coming into this year, I just announced my retirement and it shocked the community. Everyone asked me the same question, to go to the end of the year ‘Why do you have to go (mid-year)? You have nothing (else) to do’. I said that once I announced it (the retirement), that it is only fair for me to go.”

Pillay’s career in education started before he even became a trained teacher.

He served as Risecliff High School’s secretary (in Chatsworth, KwaZulu-Natal) for three years before enrolling at Springfield College, also in KwaZulu-Natal, in 1976.

In 1978, he obtained his teaching diploma, specialising in accounting and economics.

Springfield College was also the place where Pillay met his wife Paliga.

The two would embark on a remarkable journey in 1979 when they both began teaching at Rylands High School.

“I know of no other school, I have started my career at this school and I am leaving after 37 years. It is a sad day. I have really committed, dedicated and very concerned staff,” Pillay pointed out.

“I am leaving on a good note with the school. The school’s results are exceptional. We haven’t gone below 95% (pass rate). I have a stable staff and the pupils as well. There is a small percentage, you know around 5%, of our children, if you could call them so-called ‘troublesome’ children, but we manage them and we are still glad to have them here. Our job is to teach and we love what we do.”

In his tribute held at the school last week, Pillay wished the school more success in the future and encouraged his pupils to make the most of what Rylands High had to offer.

“Many of our pupils do that, but there are a few who could take advantage of more opportunities. We (Rylands High) offer so much: Academic excellence, extracurricular activities, leadership opportunities, fundraising, the list goes on.”

He praised the parents of the pupils for their support over the years despite many challenges.

According to a statement by the school, Pillay has extraordinary traits.

“Among the most outstanding qualities he possesses, is the ability to knuckle down and focus on a task at hand, taking on challenges and difficulties surrounding such tasks,” the school states.

Pillay said that he had no immediate plans for his initial retirement, but hoped to travel, even though he admitted it would be difficult to make the initial adjustment to retirement.

“I love travelling. I have a grandson who will be turning one next month, so I hope to spend lots of time with him and I said to staff that it’s going to be very difficult to take Rylands High out of my system and they are more than welcome to contact me anytime, should they need my assistance, but I firmly believe that with the calibre of staff they have, they wouldn’t want my help, they will bring about a huge success in this school.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


Men.24 Model of the Week: Wendy from Cape Town

Find out more about our featured model, Wendy from Cape Town


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.