- In a letter to stakeholders and alumni, the National School of Arts said Covid-19 has worsened the school’s already fragile finances.
- Over 40% of the school's learners are unable to pay school fees during the pandemic.
- The school needs to raise five million rand in the next three months
On 2 August 2020, The National School of the Arts released a statement to inform its stakeholders and alumni that it is in dire need for financial aid. Written by the school’s principal, Gary Natali and artistic director, Brenda Mary Sakellarides the letter said:
For over five decades the school has specialised in giving learners the foundational tools for various fields within the performing and creative arts. It’s alumni include Moshidi Motshegwa, Xolile Tshabalala,Kitty Phetla, Zoë Modiga, Langa Mavuso, Thula Sindi and Lebohang Masango.
If the school administers retrenchments, they fear losing out on the expertise that have maintained the school’s academic and artistic standard.
The letter goes on to explain how the school is not able to stay afloat because over 40% of guardians are unable to pay school fees during the pandemic. The school is in this position because “The NSA is legally obligated to grant fee exemption to parents who qualify based on needs”.
The school’s goal is to raise five million rand.
Of the five, R4.5 million will go toward saving the school from its 2020 fees deficit through the following calculations:
The annual fees for an NSA leader add up to R26 640.00. The school currently needs bursaries for 175 students to manage the deficit that comes as a result of guardians being unable to pay fees. In total the 175 bursaries will come to an amount just over R4.6 million.
The remaining R500 000 from the five million rand will kickstart an alumni endowment fund that will go toward paying the fees of 25 students in the years to come.
While the Gauteng education department has said it will continue to help where it can, it has also urged parents and alumni to do the same.