Science lab to improve matric results

Bongumusa Makhathini, SAB corporate affairs director, Thandeka Gqada, member of Parliament, Nomafrench Mbombo, Health MEC, Thulani Ncayiyana, school governing body and Patrick Barnes, school principal.

Eager to improve matric results and education in townships schools, South African Breweries (SAB) in partnership with various other organisations donated a science lab to Usasazo High School in Site B.

This comes after community leaders and the school principal made an impassioned plea to various organisations as well as the Health MEC, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, to make the school’s dream of having a science lab, a reality.

The lab would play a critical role in giving pupils the opportunity to conduct science experiments and would be shared by all grades at the school.

Bongumusa Makhathini, SAB’s corporate affairs director, told those at the hand-over that it was imperative to uplift impoverished communities in which they operate because without their support, they would not have a business to run.

He said many pupils who attend township schools had a lot of potential to become academics, but due to lack of learning and teaching resources their dreams were often shattered.

“We have chosen this school because we saw that the school was in need of this science lab and we were also impressed by their academic performance. With grinding levels of alcohol abuse and drug abuse in our communities, we felt that it was important to plough back and assist our schools in creating a better future for our children.

“We hope this small donation that we have made would go a long way and we also hope that the pupils would take advantage of this facility in bettering their future,” he sid.

School principal Patrick Barnes expressed his sincere gratitude to the donors, saying they were grateful to have received the science lab as they had struggled to perform their science practical work before.

He told Vukani the lab would play a vital role in assisting their pupils to better understand science because they’d be able to do experiments rather than only learning the theory.

Mr Barnes said when he joined the school in 2012, the pass rate had been at 53 percent and some years ago the school was one of the worst performing schools in the area.

However, he said, through the hard work of the teachers and the unwavering support of some organisations, they had pulled out all the stops and ensured that they improved their pass rate to 85 percent. And now they are targeting a 90 percent pass rate, he said.

Mr Barnes said the school library was not functioning and was stocked with outdated books.

But, he said, through their partnership with the University of Cape Town (UCT) they had received a donation of 3 000 books, three new computers and a library assistant, who is paid by the university every month.

The library has also been refurbished.

“The school is currently among the best schools in Khayelitsha. In terms of ranking we are sitting at number six and we are aiming to occupy the number one spot in Khayelitsha.

“We have managed to improve our results and the quality of our education through the support of organisations such as the SAB, community leaders and UCT and for that we will always be indebted to you guys,” he said.

Gillian Kay, head of at the University Cape Town’s school improvement initiative, said they had equipped the school with knowledge and better ways to teach. She said that they were assisting the pupils with maths and science with the aim of improving their results.

“The initiative was targeting township schools and now they can see the impact of the programme. We want to improve the quality of education and matric results in township schools,” she said.

Dr Mbombo said when she heard about the plight of the school she decided to do something and approached SAB to lend a helping hand to the school.

“I’m doing this, not as a member of Parliament, but as an individual and all the charity work that I have done is aimed at improving the quality of education as I have background in lecturing at the University of the Western Cape,” she said.