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Quality results for Isipingo Secondary School | News

It is always inspiring to read about South African school learners who have achieved outstanding matric results every year and those emanating from Isipingo Secondary School are always uplifting.

Throughout its long history, Isipingo has continued to boast incredible matric results despite facing a number of challenges, and the 2015 results are no different.

The school attained an 88.6 percent pass rate with the learners achieving an impressive 167 distinctions and 53 bachelor passes. Isipingo’s top three pupils all received seven distinctions and attributed this success to ‘having the right attitude’.

“Dedication and a passion for studying are important,” Jeremy Maistry said about his remarkable academic results. “Forget about late nights partying. Your late nights should be spent burning the midnight oil and reading books.”

The future doctor said that having a love for what you do makes it that much easier.

Fellow learner, Sajjad Akbar, attributed his success to good time management.

“Desire is the key to motivation but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal, as well as a commitment to excellence, that will enable you to attain the success you seek,” said the wise youngster, who is hoping to study chemical engineering this year.

Simone Somasundram said her schooling journey that led her to these seven distinctions was filled with ‘dedication, hard work and special moments’.

“I am truly grateful to the principal and educators at Isipingo Secondary School for going beyond their job descriptions in ensuring that we understand every aspect of our syllabus, and to my parents for their immense love, encouragement and support,” said the future business science student.

Learners from Isipingo regularly come in the top percentages nationally for academic marks, leadership contests, extra-curricular activities and cultural achievements.

In 2011, Sajeel Shyam, came second in the country in Quintile 4 for the National Senior Certificate and in 2013, a learner from Isipingo Secondary, Rashmika Deeplal, was placed first in the country in Quintile 4, and second in KwaZulu-Natal.

These accolades are astounding, made even more so by the numerous challenges facing the learners on a daily basis.

“Many of our learners come from single parent households or are orphans from the local orphanage, several of whom have to walk extremely long distances to and from school,” explained school principal, Dr Venu Naidoo, who has been at the helm since 1998. “Despite being a low-fee paying school, many parents cannot afford even the meager fees, so we have to adapt.”

Good school governance, community support and a management team and governing body that are extremely forward thinking have seen this school continue to thrive.

The school’s admissions’ policy does not allow for discrimination against any academically challenged learners and the staff members have taken it upon themselves to run an inconspicuous feeding scheme whereby learners - who are battling academically because of hunger - are identified and discreetly given food.

“We have an incredibly committed staff,” said Naidoo, explaining the school’s success. “Teachers are always available to learners during the breaks and after school if they are needed. We also run a number of intervention classes – which we will continue to do this year – whereby we monitor the progress of learners and forge a partnership with the parents of weaker learners. This method has proved hugely beneficial and is seen in our results.”

He said the school learners’ sterling academic records have seen them excel at various tertiary institutions across the country where several former learners have received dean’s commendations. They have also gone on to enjoy success in chosen careers thereafter.

“We have always felt that the quality of our matric passes is more important than the number of passes and, to this end, the children who leave the school are provided with the necessary skills to contribute to nation building.”

The teachers take it upon themselves to use their skills to improve the lives of the learners who come from surrounding suburbs and townships, equipping them for jobs both locally and further afield.

The school goes a step further by identifying promising learners and, once they are qualified, encourage them to return to the school to teach, bringing back into the school the ethos of hard work and support.

Naidoo said the challenge of limited resources faces a majority of South African schools, but Isipingo Secondary School’s staff, parents and governing body work closely together to ensure the learners do not suffer.

“It is important to have pride in one’s institution so we have to ensure the school looks good,” he explained. “The governing body plays a crucial role in setting aside a budget for the renovating and maintaining of buildings regularly.”

Sapref, with whom the school has a good working relationship, also provides financial assistance in the form of bursaries as well as funding for infrastructure and equipment.

The Department of Education also selected the school for a recapitalisation programme worth R500 000 to increase the school’s technical capability, allowing pupils to learn skills for local industries.

“We are extremely proud of the class of 2015 and look forward to another successful year,” said Naidoo.

- Published in Independent Newspapers on 22 January 2016.


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