South African “No-Fee School” Receives Science Equipment From Online Readers


Two online readers have donated science equipment to Amangwane High School in Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal. Dr. Rikus Klopper and Mark Ross donated the equipment to the school having read about their plight from stories posted online.

Dr Rikus Kloppers, a manager at Pannar Seed said he was moved by the attitude of Bergville’s school principal Nhlanhla Dube. Prior to this development, Bergville school had suffered a great setback in terms of science equipment. Klopper, a senior crop services manager, asked his colleagues in Greytown to support him in this move by donating items from laboratories.

The colleagues had to donate the stocks from their biotechnology, quality and analytical laboratories. It is expected that klopper will deliver items like lab coats, safety glasses, transfer pipettes, glass test tubes, test tube rack, dishes, beakers, flasks and measuring cylinders to the school on Wednesday.

Mark Ross, another donor came to the rescue of the school by selecting some science equipment in his garage that have started gathering dust.

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The school has gone through thick and thin for several years. Irrespective of that, last year, the school produced a 92% matric pass rate. 123 students out of 134 that sat for last year’s exam excelled greatly including 18-year-old Lindokuhle Mazibuko who made the school proud with parallel As. Mazibuko had nine distinctions and the brilliant chap has also accepted to study medicine at the University of Stellenbosch, Western Cape.

“I am really proud of him because this was the first time in the history of the school that we had a child get straight As” said Dube.

The ever bright Mazibuko received distinctions in physics, life science, agricultural science, geography, business studies, maths, isiZulu, English and life orientation. The lad said that he decided to go for medicine so that he can improve the health of his rural community.

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“I want to study medicine, specializing in neurology. After that I want to use my business acumen to start a clinic that would provide specialist medical care to rural folks. I have seen people ravaged by preventable diseases and I want to be at the forefront of changing this for my community,” said Mazibuko

Speaking on devised strategies which have helped the school stand tall, Dube said he devised a strategy called the 6-4-6 turnaround strategy. This, he said means that classes begin by 6 a.m to 2 p.m, a two-hour break follows, which ends by 4 p.m. From 4 p.m, classes begin again and end by 6 p.m.

Relating more on the approach used, Dube said “When something is broken, fix it. We are allocated R864 000 and children come empty handed, expecting us to give them everything because we are a no-fee school”.

“We need to buy books, stationery, pay for the electricity and send teachers to workshops with that money.

“The money is not enough and that is why we have three pupils sharing a textbook. It is frustrating but we do our best with the little that we have.”

As a principal, he leads by example by making sure that he arrives school before the bell goes. He has also manned the activities of the school for 20 years.

Dube expressed gratitude and said that several offers have been received from other people, who have indicated interest in helping the school. He said, many have offered to build a science laboratory, buy books and donate food to give the school a face-lift.

Dube, who could not hide his joy said, “The equipment is going to help them very much. Everything is going to help me produce brighter pupils.”

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