At the Top of the pile by
Margret Chilimba is one happy educator. The school head of Senete Primary School has every reason to smile. Her school is counted amongst the top performing schools in the country.
The school is one of the top 50 schools that excelled in the Primary School Leaving Examinations for 2016. Last year, the school did exceptionally well attaining a 100% pass rate. Chilimba’s school is one of 21 schools nationwide that attained that impressive pass mark.
“We are very happy with this pass rate. We are successful because we worked very hard,” she said.
At the top of the pile
Senete is one of five schools from the Central region that attained 100%. The other four are Dagwi, Diloro, Lentswe le Moriti, and Mhalapitsa. This is a difference of 20.5% from 2015, when the school registered a 79.5% pass rate. Located in a village where most of the people speak Kalanga as a first language, it is a big achievement. A beaming Chilimba explained to Inside Education that plans are afoot to host a victory party for their 74 pupils who have given the school a reason to smile.
Contributing factors to success
She says that a contributing factor to posting the impressive grades is the fact that they have a computer lab that is resourced with almost everything that a learner might need, especially in today’s world where technology leads. The computer lab came with laptops for teachers, while 24 computers were donated by the Keith Bothongo Foundation from South Africa. Since 2012, when the lab was opened, the foundation has been coming for regular maintenance checks.
Chilumba explained that the average mark for the school is 90.2%, and that the baseline for Standard 7 pupils was that percentage. “We have a strong commitment from our teachers. And parents’ input and their involvement has gone a long way in improving the pass rate in our school. I am a strong believer in impressive grades. I am results orientated,” she said.
Parents part of the solution
To demonstrate parents’ commitment, Chilumba highlighted that they recently had a Parents and Teacher meeting with a turnout of 200 parents. The school has 700 pupils.
Chilumba is not new to producing some top-class learners. Prior to being transferred to Senete, she was at Makgakgane Primary School in Hukuntsi that also performed miracles in PSLE.
In the words of one ecstatic parent, “it is crucial for parents to support their children when it comes to education. After all, their children will one day return the favour and feed and clothe them”.