Old Mutual | Do Great Things
  • Buhle Bemfundo Secondary SchoolIn 2009, in partnership with the Umlambo Foundation, the Old Mutual Foundation invested R1,3 million for 16 secondary school principals from selected schools around South Africa to complete their Advanced Certificate in Education (ACE) training.
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Buhle Bemfundo Secondary School

Buhle bemfundo means ‘the beauty of knowledge’, but this Springs-based school wasn’t living up to its name. In 2008, Freddy Godfey Mononyane was appointed as school principal and tasked to transform the school.

“The school was in tatters,” recalls Freddy. “There was no stationery and classes weren’t running. We immediately set up a functional timetable. We brought in the police to assist with drug trafficking. We even called in the mother’s union.”

He informed the learners. “Late coming I don’t like, smoking I don’t like. Being in class I like, reading books I like!” Every morning at 6.45 a.m. he was at that school gate. “When the children saw me, they learnt they’d better run to class.”

In 2009, Freddy undertook to study an Advanced Certificate in Education (ACE). Experience has shown that throwing resources at a school will not improve results, but developing strong leadership and management systems will. And Buhle Bemfundo is now showing results …

  • 2007 – 31% matric pass rate (410 Grade 12 pupils)
  • 2008 – 46% matric pass rate (370 Grade 12 pupils)
  • 2009 – 48% matric pass rate (310 Grade 12 pupils)
  • 2010 – 82,7% matric pass rate (220 Grade 12 pupils)

Why is Freddy so passionate about education? Born in 1961, Freddy was 15 years old at the time of the 1976 Soweto school riots. “I’ve struggled for my right to an education,” he explains, “but my modus operandi now is that I’m no longer that person who fought; now I’m a person who loves.”