Today I would pick up Education as issue in this community. Masiphumelele has one primary school, Ukhanyo Primary School and one high school, Masiphumelele High School. Both schools are doing their level best to produce the best quality learners for the community. Both schools are experiencing overcrowding. Each school is running well over 1300 learners with average of 50 learners per class. Some of the learners in the community are attending schools in the neighbouring Ocean View, Fish Hoek, Simon’s Town, Muizenburg and some are travelling as far as Cape Town to attend schools. This is largely so because our schools cannot accommodate every child from this community and to a lesser degree is a choice of parents.
The Non-governmental organizations are playing a crucial role in making sure that learning become enjoyable for the learners of our community. They assist in buying of uniforms and shoes for most of the poorest pupils. They are also playing a huge role towards feeding the learners who are mostly from poor families who cannot afford such a luxury for their kids. In Masiphumelele High school they are also helping a lot in giving extra lessons in the afternoon and over weekends. This is far from being enough but at least it does cover some of our learners and is appreciated by Masiphumelele community.
As a result Masiphumelele High School has produced very good Matric/ Grade 12 results in the last three years. Most of our learners passed with university entrance requirements. The disappointing part of all this is that most of them passed well ready to make it to university or college but cannot make it because of the lack of finances. South African higher education system has a study loan for those who can afford to register for a programme in an institution of higher learning in South Africa. The problem facing most of our own learners from this community is that they cannot afford the registration money needed upfront before one registers. This money differs from institution to institution but it is about R1500 to well over R5000 depending on the programme one registered for. As a result of their lack some ended up in the community getting pregnant, HIV and AIDS, alcohol abusive, drug addicts, criminals and all sorts of social ills. Some end working in local shops and the surrounding White communities. As a community we are forever grateful to the White communities who through jobs are affording our people some bread on the table. The few who have made it to institutions of higher learner are the pride of our community. We treasure them and hold them in high esteem. In the same breath we envy them because of their nice houses and cars.
Education in this community remains a key weapon of real development especially for our youth. I hope to share some pictures from school activities very soon.