The Education Support Portfolio aims to provide programmes to help improve the quality of education for the three schools in the Lower Molweni and Umgababa valleys. None of the schools has a science laboratory or computer laboratories for the learners. Sports facilities are rudimentary and there are no libraries. Philangethemba has a number of projects conceived to address these shortfalls.
We provide teaching on Christian-based life skills, using material provided by Scripture Union. After school programs are run for the learners with activities designed to make an impact on their life choices, ranging from art, dance, soccer, basketball and debating. We also provide literacy programmes in Maths, Computer, Science, Art and English.
A major development program has been undertaken to provide Tholulwazi High School with two additional classrooms, a science laboratory, a library and covering of the existing basket ball court so that it could also serve as an auditorium for the school. In addition we plan to erect and equip a computer laboratory and an art studio on the property at our Philangethemba offices, such that learners could use the facilities while at school and the facilities would be available to the community after hours.
We have an education budget to provide deserving young people with learnerships each year which gave them invaluable work life skills.
We conduct Saturday school for grades 10, 11 and 12 in English, Maths and Science. Members of the parish work on a roster to teach the subjects and also provide assistance to the teachers of these subjects. In addition, students from the the Durban University of Technology give extra lessons as part of the social investment element of their course.
Two containers of books were donated to Philangethemba for the children of the valley. These have been shared among the schools and the Child Development Centres and reading programs started at these locations.
There is land adjacent to Tholulwazi Secondary School that has become an ideal location for our new sports fields as well as basketball/netball court. The land belonged to a long standing member of the community who offered to donate the land provided that he was assisted to build simple house on other land owned by him.
We acknowledge with gratitude a donation from Eurosteel in Pinetown to build a new classroom during the forthcoming summer holidays.
In 2010 we had a computer laboratory installed in our offices connected to the internet which we will make available to staff and students plus providing basic computer skills training. (see Income Generation)
It is clear from our engagement in the valley that the plan needs to address the needs of children from an early age to ensure that they receive the appropriate inputs from before they enter the formal schooling system, through primary school and on to high school. Thus while our offices are located adjacent to the only High School in the valley this plan aims to encompass all of the schools of the valley as well the four crèches that serve the community so that there can be targeted interventions in the educational experiences of the children from an early age right through until after high school. Thus the institutions considered part of the plan include :
d) Khethokuhle Creche}
e) Khololwethu Creche } Lower Molweni
f) Dabulamanzi Creche}
g) Ntokozweni Creche } Umgababa
As our relationship with the Tholulwazi High School is more developed than with the other institutions the plans for this school are more mature than for the Primary schools and the crèches. All of the schools are no fee paying schools due to the poverty of the community.
Bazamile Primary- 666 learners with 18 teachers. All grade have 30 plus but not more than 40 per class apart from one grade seven class. All grades have double classes per grade.
Lamula Primary has 295 learners with 8 teachers an 9 with the grade R teacher. All grade have less than thirty pupils in each class with only one class per grade
Tholulwazi Secondary has 554 learners and 18 teachers. Grade 8- 107 with 50 plus in a class. Grade 9 – 122 with 50 -60 plus in a class. Grade 10- 178 ranging between 29 in science, 45 in commerce,46 in economic and 58 in tourism. Grade 11 has 93 total number of students. Grade 12 has 54 learners enrolled. with only 17 in science.
In addition to the considerable need for facilities, there are further skills development needs at the school.
i) Maths & Science interventions for educators and learners.
We arranged for the situation for Maths and Science learning at the school to be assessed by Centre for the Advancement of Science and Maths Education (CASME) in 2012 and a program of interventions by CASME at the school has been running for some 12 months and will continue in 2014. This has been funded by Soul of Africa Trust.
ii) Reading Promotion.
The school is blessed with some gifted English teachers who are supported and developed by a US based Literacy Consultant who has supported the school for more than 5 years. The evidence of the impact of this promotion of reading can be seen in the improving English marks. Supporting the “Readathon” initiative promoted by these excellent English teachers is covered by funding from Philangethemba Trust.
iii) Governance Training for School Governing Body
Some of the past ills of the school’s performance can be laid at the ineffectiveness of the School Governing Body to hold the Department of Education accountable for its mandate. Some of the more recent progress at the school arises from the energy of the new SGB and it would be a good investment of modest funds to arrange for the SGB to receive training on how to fulfil their mandate.