Smarter school draws pupils back to desks

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

An upgrade at Clydesdale Junior Secondary School in Umzimkhulu has boosted the numbers of its pupils, teachers and parents.

The school in southern KwaZulu-Natal received a shot in the arm when the Nedbank Foundation gave is administration building a facelift at the end of last year.

Before the foundation's initiative, parents were paying more than R200 a month to send their children to better schools in other areas.

The school teaches more than 500 pupils from grades R to nine. It has 15 dedicated teachers.

Clydesdale was founded by Anglican missionaries in 1920.

The project is part of the foundation's social responsibility initiative to improve and develop schools in disadvantaged areas.

Principal Vukile Baqwa said there had been a renewed sense of pride from the school's community since refurbishment.

"Parents, teachers and pupils now have a sense of ownership, and more local children enrolled this year," said the principal.

Thembeka Dzanibe, a parent, said the improvements had prompted her to send her four children back to the school.

Dzanibe said: "Nedbank's involvement has motivated us. Before the upgrade I was paying more than R800 a month to send my children to schools in Ixopo."

Reabetsoe Motsepe, the foundation's chief executive, said he was very happy that his company's contribution encouraged the children to return to Clydesdale and had given the entire community a shot in the arm.

"It is important to nurture future leaders, and education will empower our children and also the entire community," said Motsepe.