Manenberg High School is situated in a township viz. Manenberg. Manenberg is located approximately 15 km from the Central Business District (CBD). Vanguard Drive and Duinefontein Roads provide easy access within 2 km to the N2 Highway which is the major route into the city centre (Cape Town). The school is also situated approximately 9 km from the Cape Town International Airport. Click here to view map to school.
The school was established in 1976 under the Apartheid Government. At the time this school was built to serve the so-called Coloured population who were forcibly removed (under the group areas act) from central Cape Town, more specifically District Six. The structure of the school had also been designed differently to schools that were reserved for Whites. White schools were built along colonial designs while schools for so-called Coloureds were just plain, simple concrete structures.
Manenberg High has a student population of 863 and 30 teachers. Certain classes have up to 55 learners. The grades being taught are from 8 to 12. The ages vary between 14 and 18. At the end of gr9 (15 years old) students may exit the formal schooling system after they have obtained the General Education and Training Certificate (GETC) or they may proceed to an FET College to do something more practical. Students may also decide to remain at school and complete gr12. After completing gr12 they may either find a job or continue to tertiary studies should they have the funding. Many of whom battle to acquire funding.
The school offers 3 official languages viz. English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa. Other subjects offered are: Maths, Physical Science, Life Science (Biology), Accounting, Business Studies, Geography, History, Civil Technology, Consumer Studies and Life Orientation.
Three years ago the Education Department installed a computer lab consisting of 25 computers to be shared by 863 students!
Students are also involved in Extra –Curricular activities such as: Athletics, Soccer, Rugby, Basket Ball, Cricket, Steel Band Project, Trumpet Classes, Arts and Crafts, Adventure Club. Co-Curricular activities include: Peer Education, HIV and AIDS Education, Life Skills with at Risk Youth and International Exchange Programmes.
The school is located in a predominantly workers’ class community. Massive unemployment is the order of the day. Many of our students come from dysfunctional homes where alcohol and drug abuse are rife. Most of these households are run by single parents (mother).
Manenberg also has a problem with gangs and many times the adverse socio-economic conditions prevalent in the community are brought into the school since the school is merely a micro-cosm of what happens in the community.
In order to assist students who are at risk of joining gangs or who display major behavioural problems we have started a Pastoral Care Programme. With this programme we have volunteer parents coming into the school to counsel or refer these learners should they require more specialised and intensive counselling.
The school is largely dependent upon parents to pay the school fees of R350.00 per annum ($46). Many projects requiring finance can never come to fruition since only 35% of parents either pay the full amount of R320 or a part thereof.
Compiled by Thurston Brown (Principal – Manenberg High)
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