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MBABANE – Despite producing a huge number of failures in the Junior Certificate (JC) results, Impumelelo High School is still getting more applications from pupils and has been dubbed a rehabilitation centre.
This was declared by the school’s owner, Danda Nxumalo, during an interview yesterday.

The school, which is based at Sidwashini, produced 24 failures out of 30 pupils. Three learners got Second class passes, while the other three got third class passes.
Nonetheless, Nxumalo highlighted that this did not stop parents from approaching the school as they showed interest in having their children enrolled there.
In fact, she showed this reporter an admission booklet which had a list of the number of pupils who had applied for admission to the school.

When this reporter arrived at the school, the owner was found interviewing one of the applicants. 
Nxumalo mentioned that the school catered for orphans and pupils whose parents could not afford to pay school fees.


The owner articulated that in the case where they had challenges in paying the school fees, the school engaged in negotiations with parents or guardians to admit pupils on a budget which was requested by the parents.
For this reason, she relayed that pupils interested in learning at the school were always there. 

Furthermore, the owner pointed out that contrary to popular belief that the school had a reputation for producing failures, it was actually a saving grace for rejected pupils. Nxumalo mentioned that these were the learners who got third class passes and others who failed. When other schools rejected them, she said Impumelelo was the first to welcome them with open arms.

The owner mentioned that unlike other schools which only admitted learners who got good symbols, Impumelelo was there for even those who had engaged in drug usage. She likened the school to a rehabilitation centre.
 “We take children who have been rejected from other schools and those who indulge in drugs. When these children come to the school, they are exposed to a lot of positive support by the institution,” Nxumalo said.
She said there were pastors in the school who provided spiritual guidance and counselling to the pupils. Nxumalo said there were those who were reformed and showed remarkable change in behaviour. However, she pointed out that there were those who did not show immediate reformation.

The school owner even highlighted that there was a feeding scheme for less privileged children in the school. She reiterated that the school also paid school fees for 10 children who were in dire need.
Nxumalo relayed that the school provided a place where the pupils would be kept from 8am to 5pm so that they were occupied with learning and refrained from bad habits. She echoed that they returned home psychologically reformed.
When questioned as to why the school had attained the poor results, she attributed part of this to the tussle over the administration of the school. Although she did not divulge more on it, Nxumalo was quick to clarify that the matter was handled in court and would soon be ironed out.

The owner expressed that despite the school producing more failures, government still declared it as fit to operate, which meant that it was indeed making a difference in the education sector.

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