File picture: IOL.

EASTERN CAPE - The Eastern Cape's Finance MEC, Oscar Mabuyane, pledged on Thursday to provide infrastructure for Sitoza High School in Ngcobo to motivate learners and teachers after matriculants achieved an 82% pass rate in 2018. 

Sitoza's matric pass rate was 38% in 2017. 

In 2014, Sitoza was converted to a high school as part of the rationalisation of schools programme by the Eastern Cape's education department. It currently has over 900 learners but classrooms are needed, as is additional fencing, and toilets need repairing. 

 Mabuyane visited Sitoza as part of a back to school campaign by members of the Eastern Cape cabinet. 

"We look at the challenges that the school is facing, what the plans are and what can be done short and long-term," said Mabuyane. 

He said he was encouraged by the commitment shown by school principal Mqondisi Ndyalvane, teachers and learners. 

The "infrastructure challenges" would be addressed as a matter of urgency, said Mabuyane. He said there had been delays in dealing with repairs and that he would "follow up" to ascertain why this was the case. 

He said he would meet with the province's MEC for roads to improve the conditions of the routes leading to the school. 

The Eastern Cape's education superintendent general, Themba Kojana, who accompanied Mabuyane, said discipline had led to the school bettering its results. 

"From the time I arrived at 7am this morning pupils were already lining up in the assembly," said Kojana. 

"It shows that with discipline you can achieve anything. The school has proved that underperformance is not equivalent to underdevelopment," he said.

Kojana said Sitoza belonged to the category of schools that the department incentivised.  

"We support under-performing schools and we incentivise schools that are performing and are achieving an above 75%matric pass. We will support the vision of the school in terms of infrastructure, curriculum and equipment that is needed by the teachers," said Kojana. 

School principal Mqondisi Ndyalvane attributed the improved pass rate to the commitment exhibited by learners and educators. 

"We do not concern ourselves with infrastructure challenges that are beyond our abilities. Our focus is to help pupils and uplift them from their socio-economic conditions," said Ndyalvane. 

He said the majority of the pupils were from poor households and education was their only hope for a better future. 

African News Agency (ANA)