Principals’ drive for better education

Tafelsig High principal Rushda OShea and former Tafelsig High pupil Craig Baba from Lost City.

Determined to improve the quality of learning and create opportunities for pupils, the Progressive Principals’ Association (PPA) raised close to R300000 at their third annual golf day at Westlake Golf Club on Thursday October 6.

The association, established in 2011, strives to provide access to information and raise awareness of the socio-economic circumstances affecting pupils and teachers.

Riyaadh Najaar, president of the PPA and principal of Spine Road High School in Rocklands, said the event was a great success and added that the money would go towards pupils who are in need of assistance.

“The fund will cover things like uniforms, school fees, bursaries and any other needs of pupils,” he said. “There are schools who do not have proper financial support but continue to teach.

“The association also aims to address the issue of equal number of teachers and non-teaching staff as well as the provision of equal physical and sport infrastructure across all schools.

“We stand firmly with the poor to assist schools as best we can,” he said.

Mr Najaar said the principals of most of the primary and high schools in Mitchell’s Plain were part of the PPA. “Mitchell’s Plain schools are so far the strongest in terms of membership, but we also have other areas involved such as Saldana, George and Knysna. We welcome the help of principals, businesses and individuals to raise funds to assist schools and help pupils with bursaries,” he said.

Achmat Chotia, the association’s public relations officer and principal of Glendale High School in Rocklands, said every day principals had to deal with challenges such as drug abuse and gangsterism.

“It is a reality, pupils are engaging in drugs and are part of gang groupings,” he said. “At my school at times, pupils would arrive at school drunk and even high on drugs. Other schools have to deal with pupils who are disrespectful and violent.

“But despite the challenges they are still willing to teach your children, so we are appealing to people to support the association to assist pupils to have the best,” he said.

Former Tafelsig High pupil Craig Baba from Lost City who is a Western Province golf player also attended the event. Craig is now at the Western Province Sports School as he has done well in his sport.

“I agree with the aim and mission of the PPA. There are pupils with great potential who are not receiving assistance – they then lose hope and turn to crime or drop out (of school). In my area there are many young people who are on drugs, part of gangs and are caught up in teenage pregnancy.

“Personally, I have chosen to remain focused, and be the best I can be in life. I thank my teachers and principal for all her support and motivation,” he said.