Soweto: Students Overcome Poor Facilities with Desire to Learn]

Nghungunyani Secondary School is home to 714 learners–many from working class homes and others from informal settlements throughout Soweto. Nghungunyani is located in Tshiawelo, a section at the western end of the vast Soweto township. Eighty four percent of the school’s budget is allocated to the staff’s salaries, leaving 16 percent to fix broken windows, to buy textbooks, to fix damaged bathrooms and to make other structural repairs. Textbooks are outdated, science supplies are scarce, and classrooms lack heat during cold winter days. These setbacks and others make it difficult for the learners, the South African word for students, to receive a proper education.

Despite these resource and funding challenges, Principal Oliver Shivanda and his team of educators strive to provide the best they can for all learners. They encourage and prepare learners for standardized examinations at the end of each year. Passing these exit exams will allow qualified learners to attend nearby universities after graduation. A majority of learners wish to pursue careers in tourism or business because these classes are offered at Nghungunyani Secondary School.

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