Zille lauds Ma­nen­berg Lead­er­ship Col­lege model

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - WENDYL MARTIN

PREMIER He­len Zille and lead­ing ed­u­ca­tion­ist Jonathan Jansen yesterday lauded Ma­nen­berg’s Lead­er­ship Col­lege for its out­stand­ing achieve­ments. The col­lege is the best per­form­ing school in the area de­spite hav­ing been es­tab­lished only five years ago.

The school, which was of­fi­cially launched yesterday at its cam­pus in Ka­souga Road, achieved an 87.5 per­cent ma­tric pass rate and ac­counted for 30 of the 33 dis­tinc­tions recorded for schools in the area. Ex-pupil Aneesa Barends, who achieved seven of those dis­tinc­tions, is now in her first year at the UCT Med­i­cal School.

The col­lege is a pri­vate school that of­fers free ed­u­ca­tion to se­lected pupils who live in Ma­nen­berg. It is funded by the 2 Oceans Ed­u­ca­tion Foun- da­tion and the pupils are sub­sidised by the Western Cape Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment.

The school was es­tab­lished by Ashra Nor­ton who is the school’s di­rec­tor.

Yesterday, guests in­clud­ing Jansen, Zille and Imam Talib Sha­reef of the Na­tion’s Mosque in Washington DC,were greeted by a guard of hon­our formed by the pupils as they filed through to the school hall.

In a video pre­sen­ta­tion, guests were shown how the school stays open un­til 5.30pm, of­fer­ing pupils home­work classes and fa­cil­i­ties to alumni who have gone on to ter­tiary stud­ies.

Nor­ton said that the school of­fers a range of ex­tra-cur­ric­u­lar pro­grammes such as rugby, soc­cer, cricket, hockey and swimming through a part­ner­ship with the public swimming pool in the area. She hopes to open an Adult Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing cen­tre that would al­low peo­ple to com­plete ma­tric.

Zille said she vis­ited the school for the first time in Jan­uary. “I knew that the worst per­form­ing school in the Western Cape was in Ma­nen­berg. Yet another school had 30 dis­tinc­tions. I came to Ma­nen­berg and the schools were like grave­yards, ex­cept The Lead­er­ship Col­lege... We don’t do enough for the bright­est and best in our poor­est com­mu­ni­ties. There are ab­so­lutely ded­i­cated teach­ers here. There are text­books for ev­ery sub­ject. That is the recipe, with the com­mit­ment from par­ents.”

The premier said that 20 per­cent of chil­dren across the world are ed­u­cated in pri­vate schools.

“Pri­vate schools can be bad. It de­pends on who starts them. You need teach­ers, time, text­books and tech­nol­ogy.”

Zille out­lined plans the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment and the mu­nic­i­pal­ity have for Ma­nen­berg, in­clud­ing a youth lifestyle cam­pus, a re­gional hos­pi­tal and a po­lice train­ing fa­cil­ity.

Key­note speaker Jansen, who is the rec­tor of the Univer­sity of the Free State, praised the school’s value sys­tem.

“Give up on your lead­ers, not in our abil­ity to make young peo­ple over­come. Our chil­dren are bet­ter than us. Love them ev­ery­day Ashra,” he said.

“If your schools don’t work, your coun­try doesn’t work. That is the rea­son we are in a mess. The first thing this school does right is the no­tion that ev­ery kid can suc­ceed. That is dif­fer­ent to else­where... How can you tell peo­ple they have failed if you haven’t taught them?”

Jansen spoke ear­lier yesterday at another al­ter­na­tive school, the Cen­tre of Science and Tech­nol­ogy ( Cosat) in Khayelit­sha.

He said this school was a “pocket of ex­cel­lence” that should be repli­cated across dis­ad­van­taged com­mu­ni­ties.

Jansen said the ma­jor fac­tors that made Cosat suc­cess­ful were ded­i­ca­tion, ex­per­tise, pas­sion and a will to suc­ceed. “Com­bined, these fac­tors trans­late into a model that serves as a blue­print for the rest of the coun­try to fol­low,” he said.

In 2011, Cosat be­came the first school based in a town­ship to make it to the list of top 10 schools in the province with a 100 per­cent ma­tric pass rate and a 98.6 per­cent ma­tric math­e­mat­ics pass rate.

HIGHER ED­U­CA­TION: Pro­fes­sor Jonathan Jansen walks the red car­pet at The Lead­er­ship Col­lege in Ma­nen­berg along­side Premier He­len Zille, with school di­rec­tor Ashra Nor­ton just be­hind. The Lead­er­ship Col­lege was launched yesterday, a free pri­vate school...

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