Chatsworth Secondary School upped their game in the 2017 NSC Examinations from a dismal 27, 3 percent pass rate to a 77, 7 percent pass rate. This is an improvement by almost 180 percent.
Heaps of praise were also levelled at the Sathya Sai School in Bayview, which was the only school in Chatsworth that received a 100 percent pass rate in Chatsworth.
When the 2016 final exam results were announced, Chatsworth Secondary School had recorded its lowest pass rate in the history of the 53-year-old school, a dismal 27, 35 percent.
After a string of poor results, the principal, Mr Arthur Lukhan, drew a redline. His words to his staff were, “We either sink or swim, but we are not going down without a fight.”
Lukhan said, “I secured a strong commitment from all role-players, parents, teachers, pupils, the Department of Education and various NGOs. The matric pupils signed a pledge form committing themselves to abide by Chatsworth Secondary’s code of conduct and to strive for academic excellence. The school turnaround strategy included after-school classes, weekend classes and holiday classes.”
Department of Education officials addressed pupils at various times, motivating them to perform better. “If pupils were absent from classes, follow-up phone calls were made to parents. Staff members and I identified risk pupils and extra support was offered to these youngsters. I also conducted home visits. The school secured the services of lead teachers in critical subjects like English. Lead teachers were from other schools identified by the department to help underperforming schools.”
According to Lukhan, 2017 was a year of sacrifice by everyone as well as the teachers who spent their weekends and school holidays at the expense of their family time.
“It was a year in which hard work paid off, thanks to the astute leadership of the principal and his management team and some members of the SGB who went the extra mile. The matric pupils who bought into the school’s turnaround strategy were also commended. On January 5, 2018, when the results were announced, Chatsworth Secondary had jumped from 27, 35 percent in 2016 to 77, 7 percent,” he said.
The school has set a new benchmark for itself. “We want to eliminate the negative perception about the school and to promote an environment conducive to learning and education,” said Lukhan.
Principal of Sathya Sai School in Bayview, Vic Pillay said the motto of the school offers the national CAPS syllabus integrated with a universal value based philosophy promoting both academic and character excellence.
Pillay said, “Success at the school is based on a healthy professional support and governance offered to the school by the South African Institute of Sathya Sai Education and the SS Education Trust. We encourage a close partnership between the school, parents and pupils and a planned programme of interventions caters for individual pupil needs. Mrs Myende, the circuit manager, has complimented the school on its overall performance. The Education Trust acknowledges the part played by all role-players in ensuring that our 2017 matriculants did well. A special thanks to our director, Dr Lalini Reddy and her board for their constant support and guidance. Well done to the teachers as well. We are honoured to have Shivar Gopaulsingh, a chess champion, be one of five pupils to receive nine distinctions in the KwaZulu-Natal.”