SIX friends from Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown, inspired by international hip-hop artists, have joined forces to address the matric pass rate and improve crumbling public school infrastructures.
Farouk Abrahams, Xolile Madinda, Branton Jonas, Ian Keulder, Wayne Felkerf and Ayanda Nondlwana started a campaign called Save Our Schools and Community (Sosac) in 2008 with the aim of making a visible difference in the transformation of township schools of Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown.
They were already active in their own communities on issues affecting the youth.
Sosac spokesman Justin Oliphant said they had started the campaign to provide community services to public schools and make interventions to improve school management, provide skills development and implement strategies for leadership development for pupils for the purpose of higher rates of university access.
He said they had introduced “Yes to 100% Pass Rate” and a “No to Late-coming” campaigns at schools, which would be successful only if pupils and teachers were in class on time, every time.
“We went to these schools and said we would like to partner in addressing the long-term challenges faced in terms of matric pass rates and the general culture of learning.”
Oliphant said Sosac had partnered with Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Rhodes University and the National Youth Service for the provision of tutorials by tertiary students to public high school pupils.
“We have a Read campaign, focusing on challenging the government on its schools policy.
“This campaign supports the huge school library campaign launched last year by Western Cape-based Equal Education.”
Oliphant said every school should have a library, but only 3% of schools in the Eastern Cape had one.
He said they had managed to arrange school feeding parcels and stoves to one primary school in Port Elizabeth this year as part of their campaign.
Xolile Madinda said the boys’ toilets at Grahamstown’s Nathaniel Nyaluza High School had been locked for two years because of vandalism and copper cable and metal pipe theft.
“With the intervention of Sosac in Grahamstown and the commitment shown by the pupils, we have cleaned the toilets and have made their school a pleasant environment conducive to learning.
“We have laid a strong foundation with some of the schools we have assisted in Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown, tackling infrastructure-related issues. Sosac also highlights the problems faced by schools”
Madinda said communities needed to bring parents into the schooling system and give them the confidence to hold schools and teachers accountable.
This article by Mthetho Ndoni appeard in the EP Herald on 2010/03/11. To view the original article, click here.