Liberty – a school to emulate

Dumisane Hadebe, the principal of Liberty Community School. Photo: Leseho Manala

 

Liberty Community School in Bramley which is a stone’s throw away from Alex could be a model to emulate by Alex secondary schools if they want to achieve the ultimate 100 per cent pass rate in matric.

In the last 10 years (2008-2017), the independent school’s recorded impressive pass rates to be envious of and encouraging to Alex schools keen to find out how to also get it right. The results placed its pupils among the top performers in the province in both numbers and quality of passes. A principled commitment to a regime of ethos enabled them to progressively rise from 66 to 66, 89, 97, 100, 96, 94,4, 100, 97,1 and 97,5 per cent pass rate. This was explained by principal Dumisane Hadebe who started as head of the school simultaneously with the graph recording. “Leadership, teamwork and proactive action to remedy weak points on time are the key remedies to success,” Hadebe said about the school founded in 2003, making it comparatively an infant to all Alex public schools.

Liberty Community College school teacher, Xolani Ndlovu; talented athlete, Miriam Phiri; and her coach and school teacher, Nkululeko Ndlovu. Photo: Sipho Siso

The township’s schools can learn much from the school as they drew pupils from the same area. Hadebe said, “Children need to be introduced and nurtured on positive learning principles from lower grades and parents introduced and encouraged to commit to the ethos of the school as part of a family with set and unbroken goals to achieve at the end of the year.”

Hadebe said their first task was to establish a collective work ethic that goes beyond the call of duty. “We go the extra mile to achieve the satisfaction and results we get at the end and by encouraging pupils and parents to feel and want to belong.” This he said includes setting and sticking to targets at the beginning, conducting early morning classes before normal school hours, after school, weekend and holiday tutorials.

This he said creates a conducive environment and realisation by pupils of the importance and meaning of obtaining passes voluntarily. “It enables them to change negative habits from their backgrounds and help them to grow with changed positive attitudes about education.”

He added that they also treat and made all pupils feel important regardless of ability. “We manage without labelling them. This makes those struggling and at risk to feel comfortable and to voluntarily attend extra classes.”

Liberty Community College school teacher and coach, Nkululeko Ndlovu and his talented athlete, Miriam Phiri. Photo: Sipho Siso

Also, Hadebe said they evaluate their performance collectively and embrace constructive criticisms which enables them to integrate better strategies to improve on weak areas. He attributed the occasional slump to the government policy of progressing learners regardless of their performance in lower grades, learners’ failure to integrate and comply with recommended interventions particularly on subject combinations. “Some parents force their own personal subject desires on the children despite wise advice from teachers resulting in poor results.”

He said parents were a key cog in children’s performance. The school charges a monthly fee of R1 200 to R1 500 per month with parents providing the books. “They avail themselves when needed for collective discussion on required interventions, individual pupils’ conduct and performance and monitor their children’s school work at home. Including instilling discipline to avoid illicit activities detrimental to their education.”

This he said includes knowing the children’s friends, activities they engage in and intervening immediately on sight of any negative conduct. Bramley police also conduct random searches at the school. He decried teenage pregnancies which caused at least one girl every year to write exams while pregnant or, to disappear from school. This setback though is overridden by many former learners and professionals making the school proud and other exceptional ones which the school also provides bursaries.

Details: Liberty Community School: 011 440 1137/82

  AUTHOR
Leseho Manala

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