Discipline key to Soweto school success stories

2011-04-10 10:00
Marumo Machete
The bulk of Soweto’s high schools are in serious trouble, but there are some who have risen to the challenge and are providing children with a good education.

One such school, Bhukulani Secondary, managed to register a better than 90% matric pass rate the past three years - 98.31 in 2008, 94 in 2009 and 94.81 last year.

Headmaster Mduduzi Mathe (52) attributes the school’s success to a belief that “the most important client is the learner.”

“At the beginning of the year we set targets with teachers and work around those targets,” Mathe said.

“We don’t get this results from heaven - we work hard.”

Mathe said they have challenges like other schools in Soweto but they use the little resources they have fruitfully.

“We targetted a 100% pass rate in 2010 but fell short due to the protracted strike action,” he said.

“Even the World Cup had no effect on us as we completed our syllabus around May already.”

Graeme Bloch, an education specialist at Wits said: “Bhukulani is a perfect example of what can be achieved through commitment and dedication ... (Headmaster Mduduzi) Mathe managed to instill discipline among both students and their teachers.”

Latecoming was “drastically reduced” through a non-negotiable stance against absconders, Bloch said.

Mathe’s dedication to improving conditions at his school is evident.

“When I was appointed headmaster in 1998, I bought a house next to the school to try and maintain order,” Mathe said.