Help Masi school get ‘re-educated’

The turn-around campaign for Masiphumelele High School is gearing up.

The aim is to restore the high school to its former pride and 84 percent pass rate.

Principal Nelson Mafrica, who was ousted from his school during protests in 2016, has returned to take the reins.

His vision extends beyond just the matrics of this year or the 52 who failed last year, but still have until the end of February this year to re-write.

Yes, he says, those are definite priorities.

But he doesn’t ever want a repeat of last year.

So he is starting with a whole-school re-education: and he is asking Masiphumelele residents and the communities that surround it, for help.

“We must look at all the ages, and things like sports and extra-mural activities. We need motivational speakers, for the teachers and for
the children. We need to teach our community skills. Helping is not about only money: it is about skills and we have skilled people, we just need to join hands with them,” he said.

He has before him a clean slate and he wants to rebuild.

Metro South Education Circuit Manager, Thandi Jafta, launched a campaign and brought Mr Mafrica back to the school, with the support of parents, pupils and the school governing body (SGB).

In a recent meeting at the school between all the stakeholders, Ms Jafta painted a new future for the school’s 1 200 pupils and set the challenge to turn the current status – as an under-performing school – to its former glory.

It will take more than just a code of conduct, discipline or fund-raising, and Mr Mafrica is well aware of this.

He said before his life was threatened at the school – which was caught in the spate of drug and
gang fights in the area – there was a vision in place and a business
plan.

“We need to create a plan for the situation we have now, and how to manage it. We are starting again.”

If there are specialists who could work within the realities of their environment, he is open to hearing how to make this work.

“We also need tutors, teachers who could offer lessons on the weekend. Our learners must not carry the cost of the situation they are living in. It is not their doing – it is not their fault,” he said.

Mr Mafrica said that Dr Lutz van Dijk of Hokisa Children’s Home is a trusted partner who will be helping to ensure that the funds raised are used only for the development of children with regards to this campaign, called “48 to 84”, referring to what the school’s matric pass rate was for the class of 2016
to what they had once achieved.

In a letter to the Echo last week, Dr Van Dijk said: “More than 12 years ago I had the privilege of being among those parents and learners in Masiphumelele who worked with the Department of Education to get a high school for Masiphumelele.

“This time I would like to encourage all neighbours of Masiphumelele to support these efforts to make Masiphumelele High a top achieving school again. It is for the future of the children, but at the end it is for the future of all who live in this valley – and want to do so in mutual respect and peace.”

For details regarding the Masiphumelele High School campaign “48 to 84”, contact Dr Van Dijk on lutzvandijk@iafrica.com