Resilience through the pandemic

Published, 21/03/2022

While much of the world has been disrupted by COVID-19, an area that has faced consistent challenges globally is schools. We spoke to the Principals at Mntimande and Siyawela Primary school to see how they coped and adapted to the day-to-day changes brought by the pandemic.

Zama Nyandeni told us that Siyawela Primary were able to channel their resources to finish building the new classroom which was started with funds raised from the 2018 choir tour. They worked creatively through Covid to rotate learners, strengthen their teams and painted the entire school during this time. Through all the difficulties caused by the pandemic, the school did well in the final year results and ended the year on a high note.

Sadly, the pandemic did have a negative impact on Mntimande Primary as they lost their founder Mrs KH Ngobese, Principal Mr Masango and head of department Mrs BA Thabede. Despite this difficult time for the school, they increased enrolment and added three mobile classes to their delivery. Thulani Phakathi, Acting Principal at Mntimande Primary explained that they have been versatile, teachers have gained strength and learners have been responsive to new teaching methods with praise also going to the dramatic improvement in parental involvement. Things continue to improve, and soon indigenous music and dance will also return to the classrooms.

What Project Zulu have seen throughout the pandemic is resilience and determination shown by each of our partner schools through difficulties that have been seen worldwide. We’ve been pleased to see so much progress and adaptability and can’t wait to greet our friends and colleagues in South Africa as soon as possible!

Written by Jen Garmston

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