The Leadership College buzzed with excitement as high school dropouts, teachers, moms, dads and even oumas gathered for the launch of the Hopeful Leaders Night School.
The initiative started by single mom Yumna Alexander, 33, is aimed at uplifting residents and helping those who have left school and those who could not complete their matric due to socio-economic issues.
The feisty vrou has been working tirelessly over the past few months to launch the school, with the approval of the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) and the help of local teachers who will be volunteering their services.
Each student paid just R30 as an admission fee and the school will offer various subjects, including maths literacy, Geography, English, Afrikaans and even religion studies, which will be taught by Manenberg councillor Aslam Cassiem.
“All the teachers are from Manenberg and teach at schools in Manenberg except for one,” says Yumna.
“They came on board to volunteer their services and the Leadership College has donated the use of their classrooms.
“Each student will be required to pay just R10 a night and that will go to the teachers.
“I decided to do this because I have noticed there is a problem with 80s and 90s children who don’t have an education.
“To date we have 240 students and our next intake will be in August.”
Students arrived on Monday night to collect past exam papers and rosters, and were introduced to their teachers.
Among the crowd was ouma Colleen Charles, 51, from Heideveld, who dropped out of school in 1987 after falling pregnant with her son Conway.
She says over the years she worked as a cleaner and a secretary but always dreamed of completing matric.
“It was hard for me finding work without matric and each time I wanted to apply for something, they would ask for someone with matric.
“I am retired now but this is a great opportunity and I believe it is never too late.”
Loud cheers were heard when Yumna announced that after writing their first exam in May, the school will host their matric ball.
“Kry maar julle tux en pointies in a row, Yumna het ’n plan,” says Yumna.