School’s successes from principal ‘initiative’

2018-01-18 06:00
=Kamvalethu Rengqe. Photo:HEILIE COMBRINCK

=Kamvalethu Rengqe. Photo:HEILIE COMBRINCK

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Matrics at Solomon Mahlangu High School in KwaNobuhle are reaping the benefits from the principal’s successful “turning the school around” initiative.

Not only has the school’s matric pass rate increased for the third consecutive year, but the school is also proud of its top achiever, Kamvalethu Rengqe.

This Matric of the Year finalist obtained seven distinctions and was named the top Nelson Mandela Bay matric pupil at a historically disadvantaged school. The school’s pass rate for the past three years has increased from 76.4% (2015), to 81.3% (2016) and 85.9% (2017).

School principal Mncedi Mtengwana said the school’s successes are thanks to the team efforts from all the beneficiaries involved.

“Our educators are dedicated. This is strengthened by the support of our learners’ parents, church groups and everybody here at Solomon Mahlangu,” said Mtengwana.

“And of course, the learners’ eagerness to build a better future by studying hard and believing in the educational system that we have established at the school.

“To be successful, it starts in Grade 8 where you have to instil discipline and the desire for all learners to work hard towards their own future.”

Kamvalethu said, “One of the reasons that I pushed myself hard to do well academically, is that I have decided I do not want to live in Gunguluza forever. I want to be successful and I want to earn a better living.

“I would advise learners to sacrifice their free time, friends and Facebook and rather concentrate on their studies. The Grade 12 year is very very short and this short year determines the rest of your life forward.

“Never accept your current situation if you wish for something more. Fight for it, don’t give up. Find a way of fighting through hard work which will enrich your life. Violence is pointless and sometimes your biggest enemy is yourself,” said Kamvalethu.

According to Olwen Carson, social worker at Solomon Mahlangu, Grade 12s for the past five years commenced with their final year a week prior to the official opening of schools.

“There are certain tasks that need to be done apart from issuing text books. So, when school officially opens, serious teaching commences. We need to put that extra sacrifice in to be successful. That is our commitment to our matrics,” said Carson.

As part of the principal initiative in “turning the school around”, matrics also attend extra classes during holidays with a matric camp during November. Matrics are also told from the beginning of their Grade 12 year that they will be the last people to leave the school every day. They also form study groups which gather daily and are supervised by parents.

Kamvalethu’s father is Sandile Rengqe, a petrol attendant at Engen Cuyler in Uitenhage and his mother Nolubabalo is a traditional healer. His grandmother, Ntombizanele Matoti came all the way from Cala to congratulate him on his excellent academic achievements.

“She was very very happy and said she was proud of me because I raised the Rengqe surname.

“With all of the successes that I’ve received, my family keeps me grounded. They are all that have made me to become who I am,” said Kamvalethu.

Kamvalethu will commence his post matric studies at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) to study Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) and major in computer science.

As top achiever in Nelson Mandela Bay he was offered a R100 000 scholarship from the Eastern Cape Department of Education, a R15 000 scholarship from Wits and will receive funds from Engen Stars Group, an educational support initiative of which he was a member.

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