For Immediate Release
18 July 2019
A 90-year-old combined school in Tongaat, outside Durban, which has an exceptional academic record and been the beneficiary of numerous accolades in spite of crippling financial constraints and grossly inadequate infrastructure, is the recipient of a newly constructed multi-purpose centre.
Founded in 1928 by indentured labourers working on surrounding sugar plantations, Isnembe Secondary School – a no-fee educational institution serving 585 disadvantaged Grade R to Grade 9 learners – has long made the best of what it has to ensure the delivery of quality education. However, the lack of a multi-purpose hall has significantly constrained its ability to take teaching at the school to a new level.
A recent R500 000 donation by the South African Muslim Charitable Trust (SAMCT) and further support by several sponsors, including the Divine Life Society, Corobrik and Metier Mixed Concrete, has seen the construction of a facility which will ensure the school’s ability to further improve its quality of education, whilst also offering community development services, such as adult literacy interventions.
Speaking at a recent function at the school to mark the official hand-over of the new centre, SAMCT Trustee, Mr Faried Boltman, said: “This new centre is the result of a combined effort, led by the drive and passion of the school’s Principal Ms Bhugwandass, its management team and its staff, and financially supported by the SAMCT and a number of other organisations for which charitable acts are considered so very important.”
“Here we have a humble 90-year-old school – which has long sought to best serve a disadvantaged community – making the best of what it has to ensure the delivery of quality education, in spite of seemingly insurmountable challenges. It is that never-say-die attitude of all those who have kept this school going, evolving and excelling that separates them from others. It is that very attitude that prompted the SAMCT to intervene here at Isnembe Secondary School, injecting new impetus to this educational institution’s engine, improving its facilities in recognition of the spirit, commitment and dedication, displayed over many years, in this school’s remarkable development,” Mr Boltman added.
In spite of its impoverished history and the disadvantaged profile of its learners, Isnembe Secondary School has risen above its set-backs, developing an exceptional track-record of academic achievement, fostering sound social responsibility principles and becoming the recipient of many awards.
Mr Boltman stressed: “This is a no-fee school which has refused to whither and which has instead laboured long and hard with fund-raising drives and sponsorship searches, so ensuring its learners have been able to benefit from a quality education.”
He added: “Access to a full and proper education is the birth right of all South Africa’s children. However, the delivery of a sound education is dependent, to a large extent, on schools having infrastructure conducive to effective teaching. This multi-purpose centre will certainly provide for greater learning opportunities, facilitating the initiation of a series of activities which will contribute meaningfully to the development of both its learners and members of the surrounding community.”
Mr Boltman indicated that inadequate or non-existent infrastructure at many South African schools was ‘a sad reality’ and not something the Government can fix quickly. He maintained that business and charitable organisations, therefore, had a responsibility to assist in bringing the country’s schools up to 21st century standards.
“We, of the SAMCT, were delighted to become involved in this school’s infrastructural development project as a means of making a telling contribution to educational progress,” he added.
The SAMCT was created in 2008, the result of a partnership between Old Mutual Unit Trusts and Al Baraka Bank for the creation, marketing and distribution of a suite of Shariah Funds. This partnership ensures that the SAMCT is the beneficiary of these Shariah-compliant funds in order to provide funding, services and other resources for the improvement of the lives of the vulnerable, deprived and disadvantaged.
The organisation has been singularly successful in delivering sizeable assistance solutions throughout South Africa – irrespective of race or religion – and continues to work to support needy organisations in the fields of health, social development, poverty alleviation and education.
Mr Boltman concluded: “It is our hope that the SAMCT’s humble contribution towards the development of Isnembe Secondary School’s multi-purpose centre will pave the way for a range of uses, from skills development programmes, assemblies and indoor sports to workshops and examinations, and from parent meetings and drama training to adult literacy classes and a host of inter-school activities… and so much more into the future.”
For more information about SAMCT or its Isnembe Secondary School donation towards a multi-purpose centre, please contact:
Social Responsibility Officer
Mobile: +27 (0)84 506 2280