Seeka Lelosa’s smart thinking

Seeka Lelosa is head of an award-winning Kroonstad school that has seen a remarkable improvement in matric results.

Senior certificate exam results at Dr Reginald Cingo Comprehensive School in Kroonstad have improved so dramatically it has been named this year’s first Afrikaanse Taal en Kultuur Vereeniging (ATKV) Star School in South Africa.

Pass rates increased from 52%in 2011 to 93% in 2012. The headmaster, Seeka Lelosa, a former schools inspector, is determined to improve the language and mathematical skills of his learners even further this year. The ATKV awarded a prize of R10 000 to the school and R2 000 to the dux learner.

What motivated you to go into teaching?

I grew up in Sasolburg and was inspired by the leadership of the principals at Nkgopoleng Secondary School, especially with regard to discipline and motivation to perform well. I obtained a secondary teacher’s diploma at Sebokeng Teacher’s College, an advanced certificate in education and a bachelor of education honours at North West University.

Where were you before you became headmaster at Dr Cingo?

As a school inspector based at Fezile Dabi District Office, I was asked to manage Dr Cingo as it didn’t produce goodmatric results.

What was your biggest challenge there?

Learner discipline was a problem. We had to enforce compliant behaviour in terms of the school’s code of conduct. The teachers and I worked towards the common goal of achieving a pass rate of 85% across all grades and subjects. Extra classes were implemented after school and during weekends. We also took learners on holiday camps and encouraged them to put in extra effort after school.

What strategies get the parents involved?

We find that reporting to parents every three months works well. There is a high attendance. The parents also commit to ensuring that learners are task-focussed at home.

What should government do to lift education standards?

Bring stability to curriculum development and implementation, and provide quality training for teachers on curriculum changes and new topics.

Things I’ve learnt the hard way

1. Working to achieve good results is not a one-man show. All role players should be given a platform.

2. A school’s history counts in bringing about change.

3. It is extremely difficult to turn underperforming institutions around without sufficient resources.

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