Chairman of the School Governing Body
What would you think if I told you that just over 50% of the pupils who start Grade 1 actually reach Grade12? That is the current state of education in our country. It’s not just the system: it’s also the attitude of pupils, parents and teachers.
Tonight we showcase the performance of our school, the teachers, learners, parents and others who have worked to keep the standard high. We have been truly blessed over the past 35 years; with a 100% matric pass rate and a 98% university pass, this is truly something to celebrate. Well done!
A successful school relies heavily on good quality committed teachers, learners, administrators and parents. Committed teachers make a difference: they make more effort to carry out the goals of education. Commitment is an attitude, a belief, a way of doing things. There is a willingness to establish an effective learning environment by key role players.
Committed and involved parents provide vital support. This includes encouraging their children by being reassuring and understanding. Together with this is a visible level of parental participation in school activities, functions and committees. The key benefit of parental involvement is improved achievement of their children. The more a parent is involved with teachers, the educational curriculum and administration, the better the parent feels about the school. This promotes parental understanding of the educational process and the school and the parents become allies – to everyone’s mutual benefit.
The achievements of St Michael’s learners would not have been possible if we had focused our time on blaming others and demanding our rights. Rather, we put our shoulders to the wheel, embraced our responsibilities and together we did the job – that is a real life, a life that bears fruit. Life is unfair, people don’t always keep their promises, and neither do governments. The over-insistence and demand for rights and fairness is dressed up
Life is only now, not the past which is a memory, nor the future which is imagined. Take action in this moment of action and decision. Be responsible, accountable, committed – be a person of substance whom people can respect and look up to as a role model for a life lived fully.
The board remains active and committed, executing duties with focus. I am proud to be a part of this team. John Rafferty, the vice chair, is serving his last term this year as his daughter most successfully completes her studies. We will miss his energy and committed, constructive contribution. The subcommittees are all a chairperson would want, led by sub-committee chairpersons Fifi Mompati (Finance), Felicity Burt (Estates and facilities), Theresa Bender (Human Resources) and Dan Maritz (Marketing). The board has an excellent working relationship with Mr v Wyk and his senior management team.
The board has overseen the finances with excellence and the school has had to increase school fees by only 6% for past two years consecutively and by 8% for 2016, whereas most similar fee paying schools have moved to double digit fee increases.
The facilities are constantly being maintained and upgraded, while new capital projects are in the pipeline, the focus after education being the educational resources and facilities. By means of the school fees paid by you as parents, we finance more than 50% of the teaching posts at the school, maintaining the high standard of education.
I have been requested to welcome all present: parents, learners and educators with a special word of welcome to Bishop Dintoe Letloenyane and Dean Lazarus from the Anglican Diocese as well as board members, our guest speaker, Mosa Leteane, the past president of the Student Representative Council of the UFS, and Ms Matthee from Oranje. Welcome! We are honoured to have you share this evening with us.
We as parents are again reminded that we are lifelong learners too. We should do our part at home – raising our children in the values of respect, responsibility, and hard work in the love and fear of God.