It is back to work for pupils at the infamous Kgononyane school
Teachers and pupils at the infamous Kgononyane Secondary School share one common goal - changing perceptions about the institute.
The school made headlines last year after only one out of the 650 pupils at the school passed the year-end examinations. Lesego Pearl Hugo passed grade 11.
The high failure rate was experienced from grade seven to 11.
Stephen Jumana Modisakeng, one of the teachers at Kgononyane which is situated in Southey Village in Ganyesa, North West, said he was happy to be part of the continuing collective effort to change mindsets and attitudes at the school.
He said these efforts were to introduce a new culture of learning, teaching and service excellence at the school.
"I was initially concerned that the disappointing results might have made the local community lose confidence in the school," said Modisakeng, a history and Setswana teacher at the school.
He said he was encouraged by the return to school of most pupils who failed last year.
"All of us, pupils, teachers, parents - especially members of the governing body - are cooperating in the special committees entrusted with the introduction of discipline at the school and other things.
"These committees will surely help us return Kgononyane to its former glory, " he said.
"Personally, I would like to see a vibrant and flexible, but firm management and administration.
"I want to see a leadership style that will give all the stakeholders a say to help remove the bad stigma," he said.
Modisakeng said the school could only achieve good results through cooperation among all stakeholders.
"The time has come for us at Kgononyane to become heroes, instead of villains."
Modisakeng who is one of the 17 teachers at the school, said it was not going to be easy to change the situation at the school.
"But at the same time it is fulfilling to be part of a team that is facing this unique challenge.
"We have a number of talented and hard-working pupils at the school.
"But they need to be polished into real gems through motivation, understanding, tolerance, love and compassion," Modisakeng said.
He said said he was happy that the pupils are cooperating and have showing commitment.
In fact, pupils are so diligent that they are attending extra lessons in the afternoon and morning.
"All we need is to sacrifice, because sacrifice [to work harder] is an investment. We need all the necessary resources."
l Sowetan, through the Aggrey Klaaste Nation Building Foundation, has committed itself to help improve exam results at the school.
The newspaper will publish a series of articles and help in other ways to return Kgononyane Secondary School to its former glory.