Proud learners and teachers celebrated the handing over of the re-vamped Mabogopedi Secondary School in Regorogile on Friday, 13 September 2019.
This was also the first official ceremony pertaining to Mabogopedi of the school since its doors opened for learners as the JL Shai, then Mayor of Thabazimbi, Comprehensive High School on completion in 1990, built by the then Department of Education.
The Northam Platinum Zondereinde mine was the main contributor to the re-vamping of the school, a gift to the community to restore this school to a modern teaching facility and hence the handover function on Friday 13 September.
The re-vamping entailed refurbishing the school’s classrooms and fitting new whiteboards in stead of the previous damaged “Green” blackboards, new office and administration block, repairing all faulty and vandalized facilities and giving the school a brand new facelift.
During 2018 Mr Johan van Rensburg was seconded from Frikkie Meyer High in Thabazimbi as acting Principal for Mabogopedi Secondary School in order to raise the moral and school discipline. With the help of mainly new appointed teachers discipline was restored with fixed school hours re-introduced with no late comers allowed and stopping the absence of teachers during school hours.
With the faith of learners, teachers and parents restored in the facility, the school has a clear road ahead to success in creating a healthy teaching environment.
The road to this school started in 1944 when Iscor built a small church hall at the NG Kerk, managed by the NG minister offering Sub A, Sub B and STD 1-5.
In 1953 the school was moved to Ysterberg Laerskool when the new Afrikaans school, catering from Gr 1 to Std 8, was built in town where it is stil today operating as Laerskool Thabazimbi.
In 1954 the departement of Education gave permission the go ahead for Std 6 classes to be introduced.
Mr JL Shai was the first principal of the Ysterberg Junior Secondary School on the same property as Ysterberg Primary, receiving their status as Junior Secondary school during 1976 and catering for learners up to Junior Certificate level.
The results of the first batch junior certificate was excellent, compared to adjacent schools in neighboring Bophuthatswana.
During 1979 the school achieved a 100% pass rate and the top candidate of the Junior Secondary School exams was from this school.
During 1980 the school was renamed the Mabogopedi Secondary School and with the help of Iscor, 8 spacious classrooms was built on the property. The two schools ran together for two years.
Mabogopedi Secondary School’s first batch of matrics was in 1987 while Eskom built more classrooms and laboratories as well as offices for Mabogopedi Secondary School.
The next year Mrs Moraka became principal, followed by Mrs Botha, Mr Modiba and Mrs Tloubatla.
After 1994 government permission was received enabling Mabogopedi Secondary School to move to the JL Shai Comprehensive School building in Regorogile as it suited their needs best and it became known as the Mabogopedi Secondary School.
Mabogopedi Secondary School was never officially opened and an official opening ceremony is planed for later during October and will be attended by the Limpopo MEC of Education.
The handover ceremony included a number of speakers from the Limpopo department of Education, Thabazimbi Municipality, the Chief Director District management and support, Mr D Letshedi, who was also the keynote speaker, as well as a message from the Manager of Zondereinde Mine, Mr Danny Gonsalves and the acting principal, Mr Johan van Rensburg.
In his speech, Mr Gonsalves mentioned that the actual investment is not in the building, but investing in the youth to provide propper facilities in preparing the learners for their future role in the mining industry or whichever career you may choose by creating an environment which is conducive to produce these new leaders.
The Principal, Mr Johan van Rensburg mentioned in his address that the legacy of the first principal of the Ysterberg Junior Secondary School, Mr Shai a former Iscor worker, should remind everybody of his effort and passion to start a school for the children for whom there were no existing school facilities. It proves that even small dreams can become a reality. A reality which was realized in 1996 when the building of the JL Shai Comprehensive school became the pride and joy of Mabogopedi Secondary School.
He also encourage the learners and their parents to take responsibility to build further on the success story of the school.
The school choir and traditional dancers provided entertainment throughout the whole ceremony, after which the plaque was unveiled by Mr Danny Gonsalves.