Covid-19 or not, Menzi High School wants to maintain proud 100% record
The school has become the epitome of success, achieving 100% consecutively and assisting neighbouring schools to achieve outstanding results.
Their success can be attributed to the effort by the teachers who go the extra mile, teaching on weekends and during holidays, according to the principal, Muntu Ntombela.
She acknowledged that the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown had put pressure on them and pupils, adding that their plans and timetable had been ruined by the virus.
However, Ntombela was optimistic that the school would maintain its impressive record if matric pupils returned from June 1, the date which Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga announced that pupils in grades 12 and 7 were expected to return.
Ntombela stressed this was a provisional plan, and dependent on all the correct protocols being put in place to ensure the safety of pupils and staff.
“We still have hope. We have a team of dedicated teachers. If it means we must not sleep and work from Monday to Monday, so be it," said an enthusiastic Ntombela.
She said they were in contact with pupils during lockdown through WhatsApp, but stressed data was a challenge to many.
The school has more than 1000 pupils who mostly come from underprivileged backgrounds. Ntombela was thrilled with the act by former students who came on board to assist current students via WhatsApp groups.
“The feedback on WhatsApp is overwhelming, pupils are also showing interest and eagerly waiting to return to school.
“We would also like to help pupils from other schools but I am not sure if they will have time to come to our school; and we must adhere to precautionary measures to keep everyone safe,” Ntombela added.
Another teacher Nozipho Ndlanzi, who teaches accounting, said although the school has recovery plans in place, she was worried about the stress pupils may be feeling.
“Matric is generally stressful under normal circumstances because pupils think about their future. Given the current situation, they might panic, but we want to assure them we have everything in control.
“Our plan was to finish the syllabus in August, then we start revision. The paper has been set already, the onus is on us as teachers to prepare them for that paper.
“There are also kids who were supposed to write in June who could not because of the pandemic.
“We are in this together, we miss teaching as much as they miss learning. This is what we are passionate about and it is always a pleasure to see them succeed, said Ndlanzi.
Buyisile Shibe, a maths literacy teacher, said she was prepared to start classes as early as 6am when school reopened.
She said using extra classes was key to their success due to a large number of pupils.
“We hope that all the plans and safety measures proposed by the government will work so we can have pupils back in class next month.
“I miss teaching and the pupils. They form part of our lives and we spend most of our time with them, sometime more than with our own families,” she said.