THE term “Big Brother” has found new meaning as an East London man has launched a project to uplift pupils from underprivileged schools through a training and “adoption” programme by former Model C schools.
Buhle Ntsebeza came up with the idea two years ago of getting schools to work together with the aim of uplifting one another.
The project involves the former Model C schools – or more equipped schools – to assist in the training and development of pupils from less privileged schools. The training takes the form of extra-murals such as debating and drama as well as sports such as rugby, hockey, soccer and netball.
“Initially we wanted the government to come on board with this initiative,” said Ntsebeza. “However, we quickly realised that they weren’t really in sync with our plans and that our views were not the same at all.”
Ntsebeza, the founder of Student Rule Magazine, which focuses on every aspect of a pupil’s life, said they then decided to use funds generated by the magazine for the project.
“We are now funding this initiative on our own, without the help of the government.
“Funding from the government would help to accelerate the project, but even without it we are happy to continue doing what we do, at our own pace.”
On Wednesday afternoon, pupils from Kusile Comprehensive School in Duncan Village trained with Selborne College’s U16A rugby team. The afternoon consisted of a practice session and a 30-minute game between the two teams.
Selborne coach Phiwe Nomlomo said Ntsebeza was a friend of his and they both wanted to improve and promote rugby.
“I can’t think of a better way of giving back,” said Nomlomo.
Kusile teacher Zolani Dlova said sport at the school was slowly dying as pupils were not motivated and funds for the necessary equipment and kit were scarce.
“As a teacher, I am very grateful to see my boys playing and to see them being introduced to facilities that we don’t have,” said Dlova.
“This kind of integration is such a nice thing to see.”
He said his pupils had been excited to visit “a Model C school”.
“I actually wish I could turn back the years so that I, too, could be part of this amazing opportunity,” said the teacher.
Kusile rugby captain Silindokuhle Zakade said he hoped this type of initiative would continue and that the team was grateful for the opportunity.
“It was a pleasure to be here. I wish we could have more days like these,” he said.
“I would like to thank Ta Buhle and Students Rule for this opportunity . . . may God bless him for the human being he is and the love he has shown.”