By Zolile Menzelwa
A struggling Tsomo school, with only 102 pupils and which was on the verge of closure by the Eastern Cape education department may have been resuscitated after the intervention of finance, economic development, environmental affairs and tourism MEC Oscar Mabuyane.
Zwelixolile Senior Secondary School was adopted by Mabuyane during a school monitoring visit to assess readiness for the current academic year. The decision to adopt the school was announced after a day long meeting with education superintendent general Themba Kojana, teachers, the school governing body and principals of feeder schools. Challenges facing the school were the main cause for parents to move their children to other schools.
The school has poor governance leading to teaching challenges, poor school infrastructure, lack of scholar transport and a vacant maths teacher post. To this end, Kojana tasked the principals to develop a plan to make the school attractive to pupils so parents can start bringing their children back to Zwelixolile.
Said Mabuyane: “Education is a societal issue. All of us, especially those elected to office have a duty to use these positions to benefit communities especially rural communities in a province like the Eastern Cape. My adoption of the school is a start of a result-driven programme to work with the school management, learners, SGB, education department and the community to ensure that teaching and learning occurs according to policy,” Mabuyane said.
Kojana said he would submit an application to the department of transport for scholar transport as soon as he received a list of names of the pupils who need scholar transport. “Because we have agreed with the parents not to close this school, parents have a duty to bring back their children to this school because government funding follows a learner,” Kojana said. The school received a 68.9% matric pass rate for the class of 2018 and aims at improving to 70% this year.
School principal Nokwanda Ntombana said the adoption was welcomed as it will help grow the school to avoid closure and improve academic excellence.