Be the first to like this
The relationship between Cowan High School and the community of New Brighton stretches back six decades.
Cowan has strong anti-Apartheid ‘struggle’ credentials and produced many of New Brighton’s most prominent struggle leaders during the Apartheid era.
Right now the community faces a struggle of a different kind ... One of survival in the face of the worst economic crisis in living memory.
Unemployment is rife in New Brighton, crime and violence is on the rise and prospects are looking bleak.
Since the economic downturn began in 2008, many workers have been laid off. Many are parents of Cowan learners. Their financial capacity has come under pressure and many can no longer afford to pay school fees. Cowan has come under massive financial pressure.
Consequently Cowan pupils suffer through inferior education … the SGB does not have the funding necessary to pay for the services of desperately needed additional temporary teachers. Several teachers are sacrificing their time to voluntarily assist the learners without realistic expectation of remuneration.
Down the years Cowan has excelled in the areas of art and culture, but the deteriorating educational environment has had a detrimental impact on academic performance, which is reflected in a deteriorating pass-rate.
Although Cowan has been very successful in attracting funding for infrastructural projects … donors draw the line when it comes to salaries and wages which they see as a government responsibility.
A Department of Education representative made it very plain during the recent Strategic Planning process that Cowan should NOT expect the Department to bail them out ... because THAT is highly unlikely to happen.
The onus is thus on the Cowan Community: If you want a decent education, take responsibility for funding it yourselves.
It is a challenge which several learners have already shown a willingness to accept and confront.
It is from these humble beginnings that a GREAT idea was born. An idea set to transform a community.