Nkandla high school teachers helped pupils shine
Durban - The Covid-19 pandemic unearthed some excellent Grade 12 teachers at Bizimali High School in Nkandla.
The school was among others from rural KwaZulu-Natal with pupils who obtained eight distinctions each.
Its deputy principal, Philani Dumakude, described the past school year as challenging, especially after schools re-opened in June following the hard lockdown.
“We had to split the matric classes to have 25 pupils per teacher from classes that had at least 90 pupils per class. We had to get Grade 10 teachers to also pitch in and take some of these classes. This meant that some of the teachers were learning much like the pupils. Some of these teachers did such a great job that some of them will continue teaching Grade 12,” he said.
He explained that there were 471 Grade 12 pupils in the school and when they were split for the purpose of social distancing, it meant there were about 16 Grade 12 classes.
Dumakude said despite water challenges as well, they managed to keep learning and teaching normal at school.
“The department only brought us water three times and we had to source our water from elsewhere as there is a general water problem in the school. Social distancing and water were our main challenges that we found solutions to.”
The Quintile 1 school – a disadvantaged school – has over the years produced pupils who have excelled. Last year, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga had announced that Bizimali High School matriculant Siyabonga Cele was a top performer in KZN when it came to Quintile 1 schools.
Some of the school’s pupils described teaching and learning at the school as a way of life that shaped their character.
Nomvelo Nkomo,17, who was one of seven matrics from the school who obtained 8 distinctions, applauded their teachers for completing the syllabus on time for them to focus their energy on revision.
“I want to study medicine. I’ve applied at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Witwatersrand and Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (Medunsa). I’ve been pre-selected at Medunsa, and with Wits and UKZN, they are awaiting my final results.”
Sandiso Mzolo, 20, lives with his grandparents who have raised him since he was a young child. He joined the school in Grade 8.
“I had expected to get distinctions in all the subjects I wrote because I went into the exam room with the thinking that I wanted to ace it. Our teachers, despite the challenges with Covid-19, managed to prepare us well for the exams.”
He obtained 6 distinctions, for isiZulu, English, maths, life orientation, life sciences and physical science.
Qiniso Mseleku from Port Shepstone enrolled at the school from Grade 11 after seeing the kind of matric results the school produced. He obtained 7 distinctions, for isiZulu, English, maths, life orientation, life sciences, geography and physical science.
“I was also going to school where I didn’t know anyone. It helped me focus and kept me away from any distractions,” he said.