We have reached the midyear mark at Bulungula College (BC). With only two terms left, we celebrate our achievements and reflect on how we can improve before the end of the school year.
We pride ourselves as a centre of excellence and a model for what quality education should look like in rural areas like ours. This year, many exciting additions to our school include a new faculty building, a fully equipped science laboratory, and newly planted trees that will grow tall and strong alongside our learners for years to come.
We continue to use our Bulungula Tech Centre as a tool for education and access, facilitated by our academic support teacher, who also offers fun daily computer literacy lessons for our learners. We have also opened evening classes at our Tech Centre for teachers from local government primary schools to take lessons in computer literacy.
We have gone the extra mile with our 2021 Matric graduates to ensure that they are supported, even after leaving the BC. For learners who did not pass Matric in 2021 and were eligible to rewrite their exams, we hosted a Second Chance Matric programme to help them prepare to retake the exam, and transported them to take their exams in Elliotdale— a three hour round-trip drive.
Learners who passed Matric in 2021 but did not have plans after graduation were priortised in applying for the Job Skills and Entrepreneurship Programme, acting as a gap year for vocational skill development. All 13 of our JSEP learners are Matric graduates, from the BC and other schools, and are now placed in their internships, gaining meaningful work experience.
The Independent Magazine, published by ISASA, featured the BC as a school impacting generational change; you can read the online version here.
Four BC grade 12 learners were invited to attend the Amathole East Bright Sparks Competition for agricultural sciences in May. One hundred ninety total learners competed, and about 160 of them performed between levels 2 and 6. One of our learners scored at level 6 (72%), two of our learners scored at level 3 (82%), and one of our learners scored at level one, with a 94%!
Furthermore, this term, 86% of our grade 12s passed their exams, with two learners who passed with distinction and 16 with bachelors. Our Matrics have worked extraordinarily hard this year, attending evening and Saturday classes, and camps during school holidays. We are continually impressed by their dedication and leadership for the rest of the school.
Across all grades, our learners have been performing the lowest in Mathematics. To support our learners further, we have now expanded our iiTablet Tshomiz programme to the BC, enrolling all of our learners in MathsBuddy.
Now, after a health and financial crisis due to COVID, our world faces an education crisis. Experts have warned that the amount of school time lost during the pandemic may never be recovered, which could mean an entire generation will remain disadvantaged into adulthood. As the only school in the Xhora Mouth Administrative Area, we have worked very hard to keep our doors open.
Even with our best efforts, the running costs to keep a high school open and functioning optimally is a massive undertaking. Since there are no government schools in our area, we are registered with the government, and if we meet the requirements, we should be eligible for a learner subsidy. However, we recently discovered that our government’s perpetual lack of service delivery will not secure the promised funding.