Maseala Progressive Secondary School: independent and standing firm

By Neo Malope

I am a 17-year-old girl in a family of five members.

I am also a Grade 11 learner and the elected 2013 head girl of Maseala Progressive Secondary School. I am a focused girl who works hard academically, so that after matric I can study for a career based on providing access for students to psychological services in schools, like IQ testing and career and personal counselling. I value interpersonal relationships that are not toxic and that keep me motivated and focused. I live in a community overwhelmed by illiteracy and this is a concern to me, because many of my peers are not moving towards academic improvement.

Stop the moaning!

My parents are my main source of motivation, inspiration and aspiration in everything I do. My best friends are my brother and our head boy. We share one goal in life, which is making the best of our selves in life, and we learn a lot from each other through our conversations. My biggest dream is to see our youth stop sitting around and moaning about the things they cannot change, and I hope to touch and change many of them through my book I am writing, titled The Journey To Life. It is about the overwhelming challenges that we teenagers face and how to overcome them.

An urban school founded in challenged communities and times

Maseala Progressive Secondary School (MPSS) is situated in Legae La Batho, just a few kilometres away from Polokwane City in Limpopo. The communities surrounding the school are middle class and lower class who respond positively to academic initiatives. They mostly live in township houses and RDPs.1 The struggles usually faced by these communities include lowpaid jobs, unemployment, theft, substance abuse and teenage pregnancy. Many parents want their children to attend MPSS because they live nearby and they perceive the school offers quality education.

The institution was founded in 2000 by Mr Alph Maseala Mohlahlana, our current managing director, and Mrs Gladys Molatelo Mohlahlana, our executive principal. It was established with the main aim of offering better and quality education with no financial support from the government. The founders had to invest everything they had in order to ensure good maintenance of the school and its progress through all the years. As time passed by, we have witnessed the addition of a day-care centre, primary school and then a high school, with two branches in Polokwane and Phalaborwa.

Spreading the light

It was in 2004 that I first moved to Limpopo, and MPSS was the first and only school I ever attended. I guess my parents were fascinated by its unique motto, ‘Spread Light’. This means spreading the light of quality, affordable, people-centred education to the surrounding communities. My parents thought this motto really made Maseala the place to be. Even though there have been challenges faced by the school, its educators work hard to produce consistent results and standards. My parents sent me to this school because it is not far from home and, as such, they do not spend more money on transport. The little they get, they make sure to pay my monthly school fees.

I believe that MPSS has good relationships with its nearby communities and involves them in fund-raising events and sporting activities. This engagement teaches the community to nurture the school and all the abilities which a student is capable of other than academic work alone.

Striving to do better Public schooling in our area is very different from the independent schools in terms of its discipline, punctuality, dedication and commitment. Public education in our area shows little commitment from educators to their work; we students see this when learners from public schools come to enrol at our school. They mostly display dysfunctional attitudes to school work, discipline, punctuality, obedience and dedication. I believe that independent schools are based on better achievement for the welfare of the whole school, while in public schools most learners do not feel compelled to do their school work, because they know they cannot be punished. They arrive late at schools and get out as they wish.

MPSS competes with other nearby independent schools in debating and sporting competitions. We do not have that strong a bond with public schools, because it is not often we get the opportunity to compete against them. They look down on us because they say we are from a middle-class background.

Go the green and yellow!

What makes our school unique is that our sign can be recognised from a distance because of its bright colours, which are green and yellow. Green symbolises the life and hopes that the school has and how much it believes in aiming for greener pastures in life. Yellow symbolises the light of education we try to spread and that has touched and redeemed so many young lives.

I love many exceptional qualities I find at my school, such as generally good interpersonal skills, which enables the school to interact with different people in the friendliest and warmest manner possible. It is characterised by diversity; we 300 learners and 23 teachers are from all over – from Limpopo, Durban, the Free State, Zimbabwe and Nigeria. The majority of the learners are mostly Pedi, Tsonga, Venda, Zulu and Swati-speaking learners.

Some challenges

As a school, the challenges we encounter are mostly insufficient equipment, such as lack of science instruments and material in the science laboratory, and also shortages of computers. This disadvantages some learners and may hinder their understanding of a certain topic if practicals cannot be done. Many parents do not pay school fees in time, which makes it difficult to run the school without money to cover everything. The parents are expected to pay an amount of R390 per month, which leads to an amount of R1 170 per term. The school has been very strict over the past few months when it comes to vandalism of the school’s property. The teachers from the disciplinary committee have embarked on a mission of asking learners about their views on the current state of the school and what they would like to see change and improve, which I think is a good way of addressing the problem.

And some successes!

MPSS is an English-medium school, and many believe that teaching and learning in English is probably the main reason why it was able to attain a 73.3% pass rate last year. Being an English-medium school means that any other language in the classroom beside English is forbidden.

We enjoy other success too: our debating club has been victorious in its past competitions with other schools, both private and public, and the school’s netball team enjoys wide support.

Study, study, study

Our school starts at 07:45 for morning assemblies but the Grade 10, 11 and 12 students are encouraged to be at school by 07:00 to begin with extra morning studies and lessons. Morning prayers end at 08:00 and that’s when lessons begin. Each lesson lasts for an hour. We have our 45-minute lunch at 11:00 and another break at 14:45. From 15:00 to 16:30 it is the time for studying.

Learners should know about ISASA

I first became aware that we belonged to ISASA in 2010, when we launched the opening of our secondary school in Legae La Batho. I used all the curiosity that I had to find out more about it, and realised that ISASA plays a magnificent role in promoting independent schools and gives information about private institutions and guidelines on our rights and responsibilities and how to maintain the expected levels of the IEB examinations.

Standing firmly on my own two feet

Learning about ISASA made me think about being independent. To me, it means being able to stand firmly on your own two feet and not entirely depending or relying on others in order to get things done. It refers to making the first and initial move in achieving something. No matter what may arise, you strive to make your way to the top. Being an independent school means that we are not entirely dependent on the government’s aid but prefer to do things our own way, following our own set policies. As an independent school, we don’t wait to be given the go-ahead on something, but carry out tasks and activities at their own appointed time and in a manner that suits the task to be done. This is perhaps the best life lesson that Maseala Progressive Secondary School has taught me.

Reference:

1. The Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) was a socioeconomic policy framework implemented by the African National Congress (ANC) in 1994. Proponents of the RDP argued that the programme could deal with South Africa’s most severe social problems. Between 1994 and the start of 2001, over 1.1 million cheap houses were built, accommodating five million of the estimated 12.5 million South Africans without proper housing. These homes have become known as ‘RDPs’. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reconstruction_and_Development_Programme.)

Category: Winter 2013

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Comments (16)

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  1. Kholofelo says:

    Hi.

    May i please have the contact details for this school. I need to enquire about thier fees for 2014. Please get back to me as soon as possible

    Kind regards.

  2. Tumi Phahlane says:

    I remember the first time I attended that school, it was in 2003 and I was in grade 3, I spent 7 years at the school, greatest school in the Seshego area, I was Headboy for two consecutive years, and I am very proud of how far the school has come, it will forever be my home, I miss it very much.

  3. fhatani munwana says:

    i like this school .please send me the fax of the aplication form as soon as possible in the email provided

  4. 0799824524 says:

    I’ve enjoyed my high school grades fairly so. From 2009 to 2013, it was nice 2 be in that institution. Gone are those days;(

  5. Karabo Maboko says:

    I’ve enjoyed my high school grades at this school. From 2009 to 2013 and it was nice to be is that institution, gone are those days “missing every moment”;(;(

  6. Martina says:

    Hi

    Please send me the contact no. at 0822200356

  7. Mavis says:

    Could you please send me application forms for 2015

  8. ottis says:

    I would like to be part of the school can you please send your fax,adress and details of the school.A.S.A.P

  9. audrey says:

    Pls provide your contact Details of the school because the nomber on the internet doesn’t work

  10. audrey says:

    Pls provide your contact Details of the school because the nomber on the internet doesn’t work

  11. Trust Chimhundu says:

    Maseala Progressive School Contacts
    0150040228 High School
    0152230130 Primary School
    Email masealaprog@webmail.co.za

  12. Jack Mogale says:

    I truely admire the status n motto of the school. N i would like to work with a team that is collectively motivated to transform communities. Am an unemployed energetic 27 year old male. I major in economics and business studies

  13. masilo mohlahlana says:

    I admire the work the stature that school has build I’d like to account myself since it also reprents the mohlahlana clan.I believe we the school can strive more with funding and charitable program.Quite an honour to come across honourable people like yourself Mr Alph Mohlahlana.

    Yours faithfully
    MASILO MOHLAHLANA

  14. masilo mohlahlana says:

    I admire the work the stature that school has build I’d like to account myself since it also reprents the mohlahlana clan.I believe we the school can strive more with funding and charitable program.Quite an honour to come across honourable people like yourself Mr Alph Mohlahlana.

    Yours faithfully
    MASILO MOHLAHLANA

  15. Koena Thantsha says:

    I’m looking for application forms from this school for the year 2017. I am currently in grade 10 and would like to further my grades in Progressive. I live in Seshego. Pls contact me in provision of those forms.
    Regards
    Thantsha Koena

  16. Koena Thantsha says:

    I’m looking for application forms from this school for the year 2017. I am currently in grade 10 and would like to further my grades in Progressive. I live in Seshego. Pls contact me in provision of those forms.
    Regards
    Thantsha Koena

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