The school was established in 1964 in Mohlakeng Township. It is located in a community, characterised by a wide range of socio-economic issues such as poverty, unemployment, substance abuse; child headed families and other contentious social problems.
The community surrounding the school has high levels of unemployment leading to high levels of poverty and health challenges. Some learners are supported by grandparents while others are heading families themselves. There are high levels of substance abuse and gangsterism and some learners are used as mules for distributing illegal substances in exchange for money.
A Code of Conduct for learners is in place and enforced. Classroom rules are well displayed and constantly mediated to learners. The school collaborates with the South African Police Services (SAPS), Fear Free Life (NGO), The Department of Social Welfare; the Department of Health and other stakeholders. The SAPS does regular random searches in the school and body searches on learners. They also run Awareness Campaigns on crime and substance abuse. The Fear Free group consists of ex-convicts who teach the learners about the bad experiences they had inside the prison as a deterrent mechanism. Social welfare provides psychological support to troubled learners. The parents pioneer all these extra- support mechanisms to the school.
Phahama Secondary school has a strong feeding scheme programme. The kitchen was built by the Krugersdorp Correctional Services.
SSIP Management system
Learners and parents are informed and given a SSIP timetables. The attendance registers are regularly monitored and there is always a follow up on absenteeism. SGB members use their cars to fetch absent learners from home. Many days there is 100% attendance of teachers and learners. Subject teachers and HODs are always on site to monitor attendance.
SSIP improved learner performance. Some learners got distinctions. High risk learners’ performance improved; there were 32 learners with distinctions out of 180 learners that wrote matric. The school reduced crime, substance abuse, late coming and absenteeism through parental involvement.. Learners obtained trophies due to their excellent performance in extra-curricular activities. It is evident that though Phahama Secondary is faced with enormous challenges; it is however; still performing at above 80% threshold. See the table below:
Grade 12 (% Pass)
Advice to other school principals
Schools do not need to focus on Grade 12 only; SSIP classes should be for all grades. There should be diagnostic analyses for all grades. Schools should prioritise curriculum and syllabus completion during normal teaching hours and SSIP should be used to augment and re-emphasize classroom teaching.