Halala halala halala! We are overjoyed (and a bit speechless) to announce that ALL of our learners have passed Matric at Bulungula College! This is the first time in the history of Elliotdale to achieve a 100% pass rate.
A big congratulations to our second-ever graduating class, who have proven that with focus, hard work and grit, anything is possible. To be the first school to ever pass 100% of its learners is a remarkable achievement, especially given the challenging circumstances of our community.
81% of the graduating class does not have a parent who graduated from high school, and half of the learners have a parent who cannot read or write. The majority of our learners will be the first in their immediate families to graduate from high school.
Bulungula College, a project of the Bulungula Incubator NPO, opened its doors in 2019 to become the first secondary school in the Xhora Mouth Administrative Area (A/A), Mbhashe Municipality, which is located on the Wild Coast of the former Transkei. Prior, the only option for learners was to leave home and attend a high school outside of our community, requiring them to rent accommodation and stay far from their families. This posed many challenges and was unfeasible for most. As a result, only a handful of people from our community had ever graduated from high school.
Bulungula College was founded on the idea of building a model for how to get all learners through high school— regardless of their starting point— in a region with the most under-resourced schools in the country. True to this vision, we have never excluded any learner from attending our school based on their marks. Moreover, our school is ZERO-fee, taking the financial burden off of families to send their children to a quality school.
Two Matriculants, Philanathi Kalala and Yanga Bhakabha, were part of the inaugural cohort of the Bulungula College’s Job Skills and Entrepreneurship Programme (JSEP) in 2020. They both attended different high schools before but dropped out due to the difficulties of studying far from home. They had given up on finishing school altogether but were excited to join the JSEP to pursue a vocational path.
After a year with the JSEP, they were both inspired to re-enrol at Bulungula College in the academic stream. Today, they have both earned their Matric certificate, opening up many more doors to opportunity. The Bulungula College works hard towards its zero-dropout campaign, the JSEP is a cornerstone of these efforts.
For many of these learners and their families, earning a Matric certificate in our community was a dream they never thought possible. This pass rate is not only a reflection of the individual efforts of our learners but the consistent support, guidance and care of our Bulungula College teachers, staff and families.
Bulungula College is a shining example of what excellence can (and should) look like in a rural and under-resourced area. Access to quality education is one of the most powerful tools we have for breaking the cycle of poverty. We are committed to building a brighter future for our community and a better South Africa.
Enkosi KAKHULU, thank you SO much to all of our supporters, this achievement would not have been possible without you!