The next frontier: new schools
The team at LEAP is bringing its experience of establishing four highly successful no-fee independent schools to help address education inequalities in Limpopo and Gauteng. Two new LEAP schools serving Jane Furse in the Sekhukhune District and Ga-Rankuwa near Pretoria, opened their doors to Grade 9s in 2012. The schools will focus on equipping students with the academic and life skills they need to be able to excel at school and pursue mathematics- and science-related careers.
The remote community of Jane Furse in Limpopo is home to LEAP 5, headed up by Raphael Mukachi who has come from LEAP 4 (Diepsloot) where he was acting head. Raphael is supported by Paul Mumba who was Head of Grade 12 at LEAP 1 (Langa), TeachSA Ambassador, Emmanuel Sekokotla, and Asanda Sigigaba – a student teacher from the LEAP Future Leaders Programme and past LEAP student.
The school has purposely been located in one of the worst performing provinces in the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations in recent years:
- Limpopo had the second lowest pass rate in 2009 and 2010 (58% of students passed in 2010 as compared to 68% nationally).
- Limpopo had the lowest percentage of passes in science and the second lowest percentage of passes in maths by province in 2010.
With the backing of the Anglican Diocese of St Mark the Evangelist, Edunova and partner school St Mark’s College, LEAP 5 has been supported by a private individual and an engineering consultancy passionate about the region and wanting to create opportunity for its young people.
LEAP identified Ga-Rankuwa as the location for the sixth LEAP School after being requested to look into the area by the Anglican Diocese of Pretoria. The Diocese was concerned by the community’s poor educational results and high unemployment rate, particularly among young people. The school opened in January 2012 with one Grade 9 class and will grow by one grade a year until 2015 when the school will be at maximum desired capacity.
LEAP 6 is headed by Tumelo Malekane, a former TEACH SA Ambassador at LEAP 3 (Alexandra) who also won the Leadership Award in 2011, and Zonke Mpotulo, a student teacher from the LEAP Future Leaders Programme and past LEAP student. TeachSA Ambassador, Wilhemina Motileng and Mapuleng Mofokeng-Moatshe, past principal of LEAP 3 (Alexandra) will support them.
Ga-Rankuwa, just north of Pretoria, used to be part of apartheid-era ‘homeland’, Bophuthatswana. The residents of Ga-Rankuwa are diverse but the most commonly spoken language is Setswana. A University of Limpopo campus, formerly known as the Medical University of South Africa and a Tshwane University of Technology campus are located in Ga-Rankuwa which is also home to the second largest hospital in Africa and produces the largest number of doctors in South Africa.
St Alban’s College and St Mary’s DSG will be LEAP 6’s partner schools, with the support of Edunova and Anglican Diocese of Pretoria.
As Founding Chairman, Anthony Galloway, commented in the most recent annual report:
“We started four schools in eight years, we’ll start the next four in four years and we must aim for four schools every year after that.”
Our vision is long-term, the challenge enormous. The journey will be demanding but achieving our objectives could mean the difference between South Africa emerging as a winning nation in future generations, or declining backwards into hopelessness and despair.
From my point of view that leaves only one sensible choice. So, don’t be a spectator – join us and make your contribution to transforming the future of our country.”
> Contact Kirstin O’Sullivan if you want to support the development of LEAP 5 or LEAP 6.