A special ceremony was held on Friday January 27 to honour the teachers and pupils at ID Mkhize Business Commerce and Management School, in Gugulethu.
The teachers were praised for their efforts to improve the school’s academic performance in various subjects and increasing the number of pupils achieving good matric results.
For many years the school had not been doing well, but last year things changed, with the class of 2016 achieving on 87.4 percent matric pass rate. This prompted a number of prominent Gugulethu residents, led by advocate Penelope Magona to organise something to motivate pupils and teachers.
The previous year the school achieved 64 percent. Organisers and parents hailed principal Zola Phahlane for a “remarkable achievement”, singing and dancing as they marked the occasion.
Bishop Thando Melani, who opened the ceremony with a touching prayer, commended the teachers for their work but said 87.4 percent was not acceptable.
He said despite the challenges faced by township schools, they should not settle for less than 100 percent.
“And that is achievable. The spirit of excellence should overflow from the teachers. We must teach our children to excel. People who excel do not have stress. We take our hat off to the 87 percent but that should not be (the goal),” he said. Mr Melani said he was willing to assist the school or any township school to reach 100 percent. “The principal should make it a point that he is at the school by 7am. The principal must lead by example. Teachers should also make sure that they are respected by their pupils.
“There is nothing as bad as a teacher who cannot capture his children,” he said.
An elated organiser, Ms Magona, said the ceremony was for all those who had sacrificed their time and energy for the children and that while the achievement needed to be celebrated, she wished that the school could achieve more.
“Through their energy, the school managed to achieved what they have achieved. They should take this achievement and reach for the skies now. They have done exceptionally well. We are praying that ID Mkhize would go to the greater heights.
“It must now strive for excellence,” she said.
An ecstatic Mr Phahlane said his school was determined to create an environment conducive for children and the community to excel. He welcomed the community’s recognition of their work and said it was time for parents to work with the teachers for their children’s education.
“As ID, we live with a motto: We shall conquer. Indeed we shall conquer. We are a school of excellence. We strive for excellence. Today, our efforts have been acknowledged. We are grateful for that,” he said.
He also applauded the school governing body (SGB) for working with the school, stressing the importance of having an effective SGB.