Vuleka SSB High School: the best results ever

| June 25, 2014 | 3 Comments

The 2013 matric class of Vuleka SSB High School achieved a total of 55 distinctions – the best matric results in the Matric Centre’s 14-year history.

For many independent schools, these results are not uncommon and are usually expected by teachers and parents. But what makes these particular results so extraordinary is the fact that they were achieved in the face of a merger with Vuleka School in June last year, which of necessity involved curriculum changes and administrative and financial restructuring.

The aim of the partnership was not only to provide the Johannesburg community and surrounding townships with an affordable first-class education for pupils from Grade 000 right through to matric, but also because it was important to SSB to be part of a bigger organisation as well as the Anglican diocese.

From Vuleka’s perspective, because of the number of failing state schools,1 the partnership with SSB High School means it can now offer a good high school for its primary school children to attend at the end of Grade 7.

A significant presence and past

Vuleka had its origins as a junior primary bridging school that aimed to prepare students for entry into a more effective educational system. From 2001, it took the decision to grow and include Grade 7. Today, in addition to Vuleka SSB, Vuleka runs three primary schools (Grade 0 to Grade 7), three preprimary schools (Grade 000 to Grade 00) and an Assisted Learning Centre in the greater Johannesburg area.

Sekolo Sa Borokgo (SSB) High School was opened in 1993 in Randburg, Johannesburg, with 28 pupils, by Anne Nettleton and Sonja van der Leur, because apartheid laws prohibited nonwhite students from attending good public schools. SSB’s Matric Centre history started in 1993 with an adult school programme that offered evening classes in basic education. In 1998, a parttime school was opened, which enabled failed students to rewrite matric with appropriate educational support. Most students were in their 20s or 30s, and many of them only took the subjects that they had failed before and which they needed to pass the Senior Certificate. Part-time staff members were used, some teaching at both the middle school and Matric Centre.

AEC, Zenex and ISASA lend helping hands In 2001, the Zenex Foundation – which provides financial resources to disadvantaged learners, teachers and schools in the fields of mathematics, science and language education – partnered with SSB on a pilot project and offered scholarships for Grade 10 and 11 learners with potential in maths and physical science. In 2002, a group of SSB Grade 10 pupils, consisting mainly of scholarship students, moved to its Matric Centre and, in 2003, the first group of SSB students wrote the National Senior Certificate final examinations. SSB was finally running a full high school, taking students from Grade 8 through to matric.

Vuleka SSB High School worked closely with the Alexandra Education Committee (AEC) and the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (ISASA) Maths and English Programme and Student Sponsorship Programme to achieve its matric results in 2013.2

The AEC raises funds for bursaries to provide quality secondary education for boys and girls from the township of Alexandra in Johannesburg. The organisation also selects children from primary schools in Alexandra affected by poverty and places them in leading high schools. The ISASA Maths and English Programme and Student Sponsorship Programme also give bursaries for pupils to study at schools with a reputation for delivering quality schooling. It’s onward and upward for all at Vuleka and Vuleka SSB!

References:
1. See, for example: Staff writer (2014) “2013 matric pass rate: Proof of good education or failing the youth?” Available at: http://mg.co.za/article/2014-01-07-2014-matric-pass-rateproof- of-good-education-or-failing-the-youth and Nkosi, B. (2013) “Matric results hide inequality of education.” Available at: http://www.iol.co.za/sundayindependent/matric-results-hideinequality- of-education-1.1627192#.UvJgNvmSxx0.

2. The Alexandra Education Committee was established in 1996 by Deane Yates, who initially in his private capacity sought children living in Alexandra whose results at primary school level were impressive. (Sources: http://www.alexeducation.org.za/ and http://web.mit.edu/urbanupgrading/upgrading/caseexamples/ overview-africa/alexandra-township.html.) To learn more about the Zenex Foundation’s involvement in education and the ISASA programmes mentioned in this article, see: http://www.zenexfoundation.org.za/evaluation-and-researchreports/ isasa-mae-project, http://www.sanews.gov.za/southafrica/ more-teachers-be-trained-maths-science and www.isasa.org.

Category: Winter 2014

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Comments (3)

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  1. linda says:

    i like everything im reading here.so please help me cause i also want to join your school

  2. mangi says:

    My daughter started her schooling at vuleka nd this year she’s in ssb I’m so proud of her nd my youngest daughter she’s also in vuleka , my kids are very brilliant I’m happy about the school

  3. Phumza Mpu says:

    Thank you to AEC, Orchards Primary School and SSB for affording my daughter the opportunity to attend her Grade 8 at SSB this year

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