Principal takes school from ashes to excellence

According to Vho Sihadi, principal of Mpontsheng Secondary School, their school does not have feeder schools.

“We don’t have a primary school that feeds us with brilliant learners. But we work hard to get the learners that we have to be better learners.

“The supply from Grade Eight is very bad, but we motivated those learners to perform better. I helped them to see light where there was only darkness. And I do the same for the teachers and all the other stakeholders within the school,” said Sihadi.

“Within a period of three years the school has moved from less than a 70 per cent pass rate to more than 91 per cent this year,” Sihadi added. “That is because of good teamwork. Everyone in the school is a team player. I don’t accept mediocrity from management, learners, teachers, parents or the school governing body (SGB).

“The secret behind the success of my school is that we support one another. There is a positive attitude towards growth and development of the institution, which leads to the success of the learners. There is motivation from top management and all stakeholders,” said an excited Sihadi.

Sihadi explained, “About 167 learners wrote exams and 152 passed. Fifty-one of those who passed qualified for a bachelor’s pass, 77 qualified for a diploma and 24 qualified for a higher certificate. We achieved 25 distinctions in various subjects.”

Jwalane Molaba, chairperson of the SGB, said there is nothing you can’t do if you have passion.

“The recipe behind our success is that we had aims and objectives and we worked as a team. We supported the principal in making sure that his vision came true.

“We made sure that teachers had all the support material they needed to make the school achieve what we achieved today,” said Molaba.

One of the learners who qualified for a bachelor’s degree, Jabulile Mkhwane (19), said she was an average learner before she came to Mpontsheng Secondary.

“What made me the student that I am today is that I studied very hard. Not only did I study but I also motivated other learners within the school. What opened my eyes was when we all failed Grade 10, and we all repeated that grade. I started then to work hard. I passed very well and went on to Grade 11, where I was awarded a certificate for best achievement.

“Our teachers motivated us. They even called in motivational speakers to come and encourage us.

“Our teachers showed us unconditional love even though we sometimes misbehaved. They stayed at school and worked unpaid shifts until late and very early in the morning just because they wanted us to pass. Our principal would stand at the gate and make sure all of us stayed behind for afternoon classes,” said Mkhwane.

Mkhwane mentioned that thanks to the motivation provided by Mpontsheng Secondary, she even became president of the school for about three years.

Aaron Damane

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