Sept 2012

Education- Limpopo school keeps the flame burning

Limpopo school keeps the flame burning

Samona Murugan

Photo caption: Despite the absence of books, teaching and learning never stopped at Mbilwi Secondary School in Limpopo


Despite being without textbooks for the first half of the year, learners, teachers and parents at Mbilwi Secondary School in Sibasa, have been determined to do well.

The school in the Thohoyandou District of Limpopo, has used creative ways to keep up with the syllabus. Living up to their reputation as Limpopo’s top school, the school rallied and reinforced why education is, and will continue to be, a key priority within this Limpopo com- munity.

“The time for excuses has stopped. We as educators could not sit back and let our children down, so we got creative,” said Principal Cedric Lidzhade.

With the help of a dedicated team of teachers and learners, the school has adopted a unique approach to education, which has resulted in several accolades and more than 100 awards.


Learning must continue

“The absence of books does not mean the absence of teaching. We as educators come to school every day and learners come to learn; we cannot simply put an end to learning because we do not have textbooks”, Lidzhade said.

“If we do not have libraries, labs and books, we must understand that these things do not unused and learners will still fail.”

When it was confirmed that the textbooks for

the new curriculum would not be delivered in time for its Grade 10 pupils, the school took a new approach. “We had old textbooks used before the Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) curriculum, so we decided to make copies of these chapters and distribute them among learners.

“In maths, factoring is factoring, whether you use the old curriculum, OBE, or the new Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement,” he said. Teachers started using the old curriculum chapters as guidelines and teaching tools to ad- minister lesson plans and tests and to prepare learners for the examinations.


It’s in our blood

In addition, the school started Saturday maths and science classes for Grade 10 upwards in January and the lessons have since been extended to all grades. The Saturday lessons see learners spending a few hours every Saturday morning learning formulas, chemistry and doing experiments.

The most fascinating and motivating outcome from all this, says Lidzhade is that, “I have not once heard any teacher complaining about the lack of books. My staff is fully equipped, hard-working, extremely dedicated and go the extra mile on a daily basis. This is what teaching is about, it is in our blood.”

Even though classrooms accommodate above average learner volumes, the school still man- ages to excel. “We have about 602 Grade 10s and the average matric class has about 70 learners. In total, we have approximately 2 300 learners at the school, which is about 1 000 more than we should admit,” he said.

“The one thing that schools must realise is that despite challenges teaching can never ever stop. There will be challenges faced, but if teachers report to school on time, and have a class full of learners, lessons must go on regardless. Teaching must start from day one,” said Lidzhade


For more information, call the Department of Basic Education: 012 357 300/ Hotline: 0800202933

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