The sky is the limit for 19-year-old Jabulile Mncwango (Umlazi) who obtained 4 distinctions as a student
at Phambili High School. Next month Jabulile embarks on her university education as she starts her
studies at UKZN Howard College Campus studying electrical engineering.
Photograph courtesy Paul Godwin
Despite its challenges and the fact that a great deal of work still has to be done both in the classroom and in the general infrastructure at Phambili High School in Rossburgh, 2016 was a positive milestone for the school with pupils and staff having reason to celebrate with a 60.1% matric pass rate. A total of 196 learners wrote the final exams last year with 24 students receiving a Bachelors Pass and 47 students a Matric Diploma.
Phambili High School is an institution that caters for low-income families and has many students that have encountered social problems in other schools. For some of these students Phambili High has been their last opportunity for receiving an education. Happily these students have accepted the challenge and are now thriving, thanks to a dedicated School Principal and teaching staff that have invested great personal time and effort to help the learners overcome their difficulties. The school also has students from all over Africa some of whom have learnt to speak isiZulu and English, as their mother tongue is actually French. Some students hail from other countries such DRC, Congo, Lesotho, Mozambique and other provinces like Eastern Cape.
“We are busy developing the School to become a normal High School in this area. Concentrating on and offering quality education to any student that wants to learn” states Londa Luthuli School Principal, “Part of this ongoing development requires that we need assistance from corporates.”
Although the students have done the hard work, a significant part of this success has come from input from a local cement manufacturer NPC/Intercement who set up a brand new Science Lab and Library for the school. This has impacted positively on the school’s results in the subjects of Science and Mathematics. Science results increased from 16% to 37% and mathematics results from 13% in 2015 to 16% in 2016.
“I take this opportunity to thank NPC/Intercement for its positive involvement in our school which is benefiting the learners as well as other assistance it has given us in the past such as the Day of Doing Good program.” states Londa Luthuli School Principal
The setting up of both these facilities has enabled the students to have a better learning environment. The library is fully functional and has the necessary literature and facilities to create a positive learning area. The Science Lab has given students the ability to work on practical experiments, which has made them understand the subject of science better, and the good results are testament to that.
The library has also helped learners in the subject of English. The school has introduced a reading program and encourages all its learners to learn and have a better understanding of the English language and improved their language proficiency. This has resulted in a 90% improvement in the 2016 Matric results.
Graduation fever hit Phambili High School in Rossburgh recently as the school honoured its top performers. Pictured from left to right are: Sambulo Mtolo from Umlazi, Phambili High School Principal Londa Luthuli and Jabulile Mncwango (Umlazi). Both students benefitted from a much needed Science Lab and Library, which was funded by NPC/Intercement. Photograph courtesy Paul Godwin
One of the beneficiaries of the improved Science Lab and Library is 19-year-old Jabulile Mncwango who lives in Umlazi. Jabulile was an outstanding student in 2016 and passed with 4 distinctions. Next month Jabulile embarks on her university education, as she will be studying Electrical Engineering at UKZN Howard College Campus.
Jabulile comments “I have benefitted a lot from the new science lab. I certainly would not have got my “B” for Physical Science if I did not have the use of a lab as it allows us to do practical experiments and helps us understand the subject better. The availability of the lab certainly assisted and helped me gain more knowledge on the subject. It was also great to be able to have the use of the School Library. This helped me with my studying, as it was a peaceful and spacious place where I could work on my assignments and helped me with my study program. I believe reading is very important and the library was very helpful in this regard and the school also encouraged us to read more” Jabulile continues “ Personally it was a very hectic year for me but thanks to our dedicated Principal and teachers and to the school partners such as NPC/Intercement I have reaped the rewards”
Another student entering the world with wide eyes is 19-year-old Sambulo Mtolo from Umlazi. Sambulo achieved a Bachelors Pass and will be studying Electrical Engineering at Mangosuthu University of Technology this year.
Sambulo took full advantage of the Science Lab and Library during his time at Phambili “ The fact that we could perform practical experiments in the lab was very helpful. It is very hard studying Science without the proper learning facilities. The Library was also very helpful to me as it had all the information I needed to study and assisted me with my subjects”
“I want to be a professional engineer. I also encourage the youth to go to school, learn and be successful. It takes hard work and dedication, but it is worth It.,” comments Sambulo
In 2015 NPC/Intercement funded Phambili High School an under performing school in the Durban suburb of Rossburgh. At the time the school was in need of assistance and was a school, which most corporate funders would shy away from due to the fact that many of the students were expelled from 'good' schools due to under performance or social issues, like violence and substance abuse.
NPC funded the setting up of a brand new library and science laboratory and as a direct result of NPC Intercement’s interventions there has been a positive turnaround at Phambili High School.
Smangele Tshabalala Transformation Manager at NPC/ Intercement comments “It is encouraging to see improvements in learner outcomes at Phambili – our company took a risk and funded this school when it was worst performing, because we believed every child has a potential, all they needed is a conducive environment to facilitate teaching and learning. Congratulations to the learners, the parents, the teachers and management of Phambili for your hard work and partnership.”
words and pictures - Paul Godwin