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Class of 2015: BNSDP proves rural schools can be among the best

On 5 January 2016, Kagiso Trust joined the Free State Department of Education in congratulating the province’s Class of 2015, specifically the Thabo Mofutsanyana district. The Free State province achieved a 81.6% pass rate and the Thabo Mofutsanyana district achieved a pass rate of 87.5%, making it the best performing district in the Free State. Kagiso Trust, in partnership with the Free State Department of Education, has been implementing the Beyers Naudé Schools Development Programme (BNSDP) in 166 Thabo Mofutsanyana schools since 2011 with 10 schools adopted into the programme in 2007.

As the programme is in its consolidation and exit phase, Kagiso Trust is pleased at the continued performance of the Thabo Mofutsanyana district which attests to the sustainability of the intervention in the district’s schools. The fact that the district’s performance increased and exceeded both provincial and national averages is indicative of the sustainability principles put in place by the BNSDP.

The BNSDP has a sound strategy of establishing good governance and management principles which will ultimately form the foundation of the long term success of the schools affiliated with the programme. “At the heart of the BNSDP is the quest for deepening the quality and confidence of educators in rural communities as well as encouraging communities around the school to participate in the management of their school,” said Themba Mola, Kagiso Trust Chief Operations Officer.

2015 saw eight of the 46 secondary schools which are part of the BNSDP achieve a remarkable 100% pass rate. Situated in the predominantly rural Thabo Mofutsanyana district, the eight schools are: The Beacon Secondary School, Lekgulo Secondary School, Masopha Secondary School, Metsi Matsho Secondary School, Mohaladitwe Secondary School, Rantsane Secondary School, Reahola Secondary School and Thiboloha Special School.

Mr SH Molete, Rantsane Secondary School Principal, shared that “the school had been receiving poor results but since the involvement of Kagiso Trust, every grade has improved its results. In 2008, we received a matric pass rate of 51%. We are now a 100% pass rate school.” Rantsane Secondary School achieved a 100% pass average in 2013, 2014 and 2015. What do they attribute to this success? “The BNSDP provided us with School Governing Body workshops which assisted with management and governance. Teambuilding exercises helped unite our staff, especially in 2013 and 2014 and our school realised its best results ever”, said Molete.

The BNSDP saw 4 094 learners write the National Senior Certificate examination, an increase of 679 learners compared to 2014. 3 495 learners passed: 1 223 bachelor passes, 1 540 diplomas and 715 higher certificates were obtained. The district continues to show a steady growth in performance year on year.

“We believe that working with government and district officials is integral to sustainability as we share best practice and lessons learnt with the district. Thank you to all the parents, teachers, principals and the Thabo Mofutsanyana Education District office for their commitment and hard work. We encourage them to continue to grow and sustain good academic results” concluded Mola.

As part of Rantsane Secondary School’s incentive for achieving a 100% pass rate for the third consecutive year, Kagiso Trust rewarded the educators 27 educators, together with their spouses, with a trip to Cape Town. “I feel motivated and encouraged by the incentives we got from Kagiso Trust” shared Rantsane educator, Mrs M.A. Sefume. “Going to Durban twice and now to Cape Town – it’s an unforgettable experience. I appreciate the fact that our efforts do not go unnoticed.”

“I think that the results will be maintained and sustained through the systems that the school has utilized for the past three years. It is now the culture of the school to use strategy, analysis of tasks and remedial work… In 2016 learners commit themselves to obtaining a 100% pass rate and an 85% bachelor pass rate. Teachers also committed themselves to beat their individual 2015 performance per subjects” added Mr M.D. Malema, also an educator at Rantsane Secondary School.

The Cape Town trip saw the educators visit Table Mountain, Robben Island and the V&A Waterfront, among other attractions.

 

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