- East London school head has been paying his teachers out of his own pocket to give extra lessons on Saturday's
- The schools matric pass rate went up by 26% in a year
- His family also fund an extra school camp that allows pupils to learn leadership skills
Piyuse Thomas is a 52 year old man who is the East London Science College founder and director. He has been fitting the bill for teachers to give extra lessons to Grade 11 and 12 pupils on a Saturday.
His selfless act has paid off as the schools matric pass rate has improved from 68% in 2001 to 94% last year and become one of the top performing schools in the region.
Thomas was pleased with the gratitude of the students as the average attendance to the Saturday classes was 95%.
“Seeing the progress over the years is motivating. The ideas that I receive from the teachers and pupils to uplift the school are amazing.”
“My teachers sacrifice time with their families for the success of education. I give all my credit to the teachers.”
He paid each teacher R175 per hour to teach the Saturday classes.
“I am blessed with a committed team who also want to provide the pupils with quality education.”
“They are a blessing, it is such a wonderful thing to work with people who understand your vision and work hard towards making it successful.’
Briefly.co.za learnt that the school has been giving Saturday classes for 13 years now, but it has not always run so smoothly.
“Sometimes we wouldn’t have money to pay the teachers and I would have to borrow money from my wife when she was still working at the department of education. My teachers have never been unpaid.”
A part from the Saturday classes, 20 pupils from grades 11 and 12 are selected to attend an academy camp for three days at Lekkeroord Christian Campsite near the East London Airport in June. The camp sets out to tech learner’s leadership skills by means of team-building activities.
The camp has been running for four years strong and the R40 000.00 cost is normally covered by Thomas’s family from overseas.
“My nieces, nephews and brothers contribute towards the camp.”
“They are all over the world but because they know the importance of education, they throw in dollars to assist with the camp so it can be a success.”
17 year old grade 12 student, Omila Toto, attended the camp last year as well as the Saturday classes and expressed how helpful they were.
“I find the classes to be very helpful. Some at home cannot study [because] they are distracted by a lot of things and friends.”
“Saturdays are also extra time to ask questions we couldn’t ask during the week because of time.”
English teacher Braidzo Rodze described Thomas as selfless and a hands-on leader.
“Besides being our employer, he mentors and grooms us to attain our best and be the best.”
“He has an open-door policy for pupils too. Mr Thomas motivates and encourages them and gets involved with the parents in the best interest of the pupils.”
Thomas is a man of true integrity and selflessness. He is an inspiration to all.
See Mzansi's billionaires in the following video from our Briefly - South Africa YouTube channel.
Do you know of any heroic educators? Go to our Facebook page and leave a comment.
To stay up to date with the latest news, download our news app on Google Play or iTunes today.