St Patrick Senior Secondary School in Gxulu location at Eastern Cape’s small town of Libode appreciates the support given to them by the Faculty of Health Sciences in Walter Sisulu University (WSU) over the last three years.
The faculty went to a rural community to educate pupils about programmes the faculty offers s a result this beautiful partnership was formed between the two parties. Senior lecturer, Faculty of Health Sciences, Dr Mzukisi Kolosa, said: “Our role is not just to teach but to motivate learners as well to strive for academic success and reach their full potential through various study programs in the South African Higher Education system.
Rural schools are often disadvantaged when it comes to accessing information hence amongst other schools we had to visit St Patrick’s.” Kolosa, working with Prof Mukund Khathry-Chetry, facilitator of the Clinical Associate Training Programme at WSU have been at the forefront of initiatives to expand the recruitment of students from the deepest rural communities of the province.
The duo visits the school yearly to disseminate WSU FHS study programme content through access to subject matter experts and to share funding opportunities from institutional partners, government agencies and private funders. St Patrick’s SSS principal, Mr Bulelani Lincoln Mzimane, said: “The support from the university develops the aspirations for higher education among our learners who come from low socio-economic backgrounds and some will be the first in their families to enter the higher education landscape.”
This partnership has assisted in improving the pass rate and producing quality learners in the school as learners all strive to get the opportunity to go do their MBChB Degree with WSU. A WSU second year MBChB student from St Patrick’s SSS, Semihla Stark said the partnership inspired her to work harder to qualify for acceptance in the faculty.
“Some careers always seem out of reach for us in rural areas, we dream but sometimes that’s all it is, a dream, until someone comes and tell that you can actually do it. The motivation that was done in my matric year showed me that it is possible, I then worked twice as hard to secure my space for the next intake,” said Stark. The school has again written to the faculty to show their gratitude for the work they do for the school and has requested them to avail themselves even for the class of 2021.