What our youth say

As Youth Day approaches, we are striving to create an enabling environment for South Africa’s youth – where they have the benefit of well-functioning schools. This will ensure that they are able to benefit from an education, and from an education system, that was denied to the youth of 1976.

The NECT’s Fresh Start School (FSS) initiative is making waves of positive change, not only for teachers, but for the youth. When interviewed, Masana Makhubele and Amukelani Rikhotso, learners from N’wamalobye Secondary School in the Vhembe District of Limpopo said: “It’s much easier to develop the right mind-set towards learning now that the school has been renovated, and both teachers and learners now have a high sense of belonging and ownership.”

N’wamalobye Secondary School in the Vhembe District of Limpopo faced some intractable challenges when it was first put on the FSS programme. “There was an overall lack of ownership, by teachers and learners,” says Principal Kayivela Sambo. “There was no co-operation or team spirit; our teachers suffered low morale and low self-esteem. We were unaware of our own potential. That atmosphere also affected the learners – they weren’t being inspired with any commitment to learning, which was reflected in their behaviour: late-coming and absenteeism, bullying, graffiti and vandalism were rife.”

Sambo credits the Fresh Start Schools (FSS) initiative with turning the school around by renovating the school buildings. “The renovation of the school created a very conducive environment for learning, that brought hope to learners, teachers, and parents alike,” says Sambo. “Morale and co-operation amongst teachers, management and learners has increased, and team spirit has emerged; teachers have improved their time management and are now committed to teaching. This also affects the learners – we have no more late-coming, absenteeism or bullying, the general cleanliness of the whole school has improved, and graffiti is non-existent.”

 “We always hoped that the challenges our school faced would one day be addressed,” Sambo concludes, “but thanks to the NECT’s FSS programme, that came about much sooner than we anticipated. The community is fully aware of the changes and appreciates them – the positive contribution of the FSS initiative marks the beginning of success in our school.”

© 2019 National Education Collaboration Trust