Matthew Goniwe Memo­rial High School

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - VUYO MABANDLA

THE newly ap­pointed prin­ci­pal of Matthew Goniwe Memo­rial High School has said the school plans to up­grade its per­for­mance this year to “wash off ” the em­bar­rass­ment of last year.

The school had a low ma­tric pass rate of only 45 per­cent, a drop of 1 per­cent from 46 per­cent in 2008.

This was partly due to prob­lems last year, which in­cluded a vi­o­lent protest by pupils in which classes and toi­lets were dam­aged.

This was fol­lowed by the fir­ing of the then prin­ci­pal on grounds that she had ap­par­ently ad­mit­ted un­de­serv­ing pupils to up­per grades, “to make it look ike she had a well-per­form­ing school”.

The school is also trou­bled by gang­ster­ism and crammed class rooms.

But new prin­ci­pal Ntombox­olo Mqumbisa said they will “start off on a clean slate”.

“We have put all the prob­lems in the past. We want to start all over again in all classes, our per­for­mance was em­bar­rass­ing,” she said.

How­ever, she said, be­cause the school lacks sup­port from par­ents and the com­mu­nity, prob­lems such as gang­ster­ism and the car­ry­ing of weapons at school might con­tinue.

Teach­ers, who did not want to be named, said they had made a few changes this year and, ex­cept for a few late-com­ers, classes be­gan on time on Wed­nes­day.

One said: “We have a his­tory of lazi­ness among the learn­ers, so we have sep­a­rated classes.

“There will be a sin­gle maths lit­er­acy class, which in­curred much fail­ures, and we will en­hance sports.”

Mqumbisa added that they were will­ing to work through­out the ex­tra-long mid-year hol­i­days and al­low pupils to watch the World Cup at the school. IT’S THE first day of school at Bergvliet Pri­mary School. You’d ex­pect tears, even a tantrum or two, as the new pupils set­tle into Jackie Wib­ber­ley’s class. But the par­ents are the only ones with tears in their eyes.

Some of the par­ents squeeze in a few hugs and kisses be­fore they leave; oth­ers take pho­tos of their chil­dren at their desks while they draw a pic­ture about their hol­i­day.

Wib­ber­ley wastes no time – the kids aren’t there an hour be­fore she ex­plains, in the gen­tle man­ner of a Grade 1 teacher, the

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