Anton Lembede family rejoice as school named after him
Nombuso Asanda Dlamini
The family of the first president of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL), Mr Anton Lembede, who passed away in 1947, is relieved by the naming of a state-of-the-art mathematics and science school in La Mercy, Durban.
The family says Mr Lembede, a former academic lawyer, was named after one of Durban’s busiest streets, Smith Street, and they say his name was still undervalued in South Africa, but thanks to the Anton Lembede Mathematics, Science and Technology School of Innovation they are now relieved.
The school opened on Saturday. Ms Sbongile Lembede (66), Mr Lembede’s brother, said they were happy about the uplifting of his brother’s name.
The school, built by the department of education, cost R250 million. It took 5 years to complete due to its size.
The Head of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education, Dr Enoch Nzama, said the purpose of the school was to train students to represent the country and abroad in the fields of Science, Maths, Technology, Leadership and more.
He said only Grade 8 would be taken each year, which would be for students who would go up to and out of Grade 12.
“This school focuses on these areas only so that the children can come out with different skills and be able to spread in a way that satisfies us. Although there is another school close to this one, called Mandla Mthethwa that we have built over the years, we are not at this level in terms of resources, ”said Dr Nzama.
He said the aim of the department was to build schools that focused on specific areas including diving, agriculture and the arts so that students could excel.
It is acceptable for any race (at this school), as long as it is a child who wants to go to technical school. There will be other courses, but the focus will be on technology and innovation and future leadership training courses in the community.
He also pointed out that although parents would pay R41 000 a year (per student), the department would offer bursaries to those who did well in their studies, but who could not afford it.
These include student accommodation, uniform, security and electricity and water bills. Courses include Computer Applications, Information Technology, Life Skills, Leadership, Innovation and Robotics, Visual Arts and more.
Currently about 1 000 students have applied to study at the school but will be screened according to the Grade 7 results and interviews.
150 students will be enrolled in Grade 8 but the school will accommodate 600 students. Study begins next year.