Teachers and parents of LehlohonoloPrimary School in Gugulethu were filled with joy as the Sotho-speaking school managed to maintain its independence.
The school faced an uncertain future after failing to admit enough pupils and there was a threat of them being integrated into Intshinga Primary School.
During the 2016 academic year the school only had 197 pupils from Grade R to Grade 7. However, parents and teachers worked hard to attract more children to the school.
The number of pupils has since risen to 362 and according to the school, that number will increase next year.
The school hosted a high tea with parents on Sunday October 15 to celebrate their school ownership with singing and dancing.
The excited school principal Veronica Seabe said the school has been very supportive and helpful to pupils, teaching them about their identity. The school is Sotho-speaking, which makes it unique in the province.
Ms Seaba said the merger could have been a challenge for their pupils as Intshinga catered for Xhosa pupils.
“Surely we are excited by the turn of events. We had to celebrate this achievement with parents. These parents have played a big role in us achieving the numbers. Today is a happy day,” she said.
One of the teachers, Kibu Khuse, said the celebration was the first of its kind at the school.
She said they battled to increase the number of pupils at the school.
Ms Kibu said her school gave children the opportunity to explore, embrace and celebrate their culture.
“This is a great success and a victory to us. The victory was made possible by parents. Now we can sit and do our job properly without any disruption. Now we owe it to the parents. As teachers we need to repay them,” she said.
School governing body chairperson Songezile Lwazi, said they were also looking forward to a better future. He said the school has always been a community school that develops its people.
Thanking the parents, Mr Lwazi said it has a good experience for him to see parents protecting the school. “When times were tough, we always appealed to them to help us. There were times when we went to recruit them to assist us in difficult times. Like when the department came with the news of integration, we had to go to the parents to be part of the negotiations. So we are thanking them and we are proud to have such a supportive structure in them,” he said.
He also applauded the teachers for the great work that they do at the school. He said teachers have been loyal to the school and its culture.