ESTABLISHMENT OF UHPPTA
UHPPTA is the brain child of a group of past learners from the school who arranged their class group reunion. The group gathered in 2010 to what was to be their reunion – soon it culminated in the establishment of an alumni organisation. UHPPTA’s core business activity is providing bursaries to deserving, financially-needy learners.
VISION OF UHPPTA
To support and underpin the overall vision of Uitenhage High School, which is: to be an educational institution of excellence.
UHPPTA has identified 5 pillars that would constitute the road-map to realising this vision:
- LEARNER PILLAR
Since our inception in 2010, UHPPTA have distributed bursaries to deserving, financially needy learners totalling hundreds of thousands of rand. We are immensely proud to report that the first recipients of the UHPPTA bursaries graduated in April 2015. This initiative has grown from awarding bursaries to 4 matriculants (2010) to also recognising the accomplishments of the current crop of Uitenhage High learners. UHPPTA awards the efforts of Top 3 Grade 8-11 learners, as announced at the school’s Annual Awards Ceremony, by sponsoring their school fees for the following academic year. Through its International Scholarship Fund, driven by an alumnus based overseas, UHPPTA has also managed to fund the studies of a number of Information Technology students – former Uitenhage High learners. This initiative also comprises a mentorship programme, aimed at guiding the beneficiaries during and beyond their years of study.
UHPPTA launched its New Learner Transitioning (NLT) Programme in 2017. The rationale behind this programme is to assist the new in-take at Uitenhage High School with adapting to their new environment. Learners often battle with the move from primary school – where many of them served as leaders – to being regarded as the juniors at high school level. This “diminished status”, coupled with greater volumes of work and turbulent teenage years, often result in academic under-performance, which could lead to learners dropping out of school. Hence, whilst much focus is placed on overcoming possible deficiencies relating to the Mathematics and Home Language curricula, a substantial portion of the programme is devoted to equipping learners with the requisite knowledge, skills and values to adapt and successfully navigate their high school life.
- UHS STAFF PILLAR
UHPPTA has committed itself to the development and upskilling of the Uitenhage High staff. It is our considered opinion that an investment in these adults (teaching, admin and support staff) will, over time, translate in improving the quality of education at our Alma Mater. This, in turn, should result in our learners performing at their optimum level in all spheres (academically, sport, culture, spiritually, etc.).
Apart from successes obtained with the mentorship programme, through which a support staff member was assisted in furthering her studies, the Teacher Incentive Initiative (TII) was introduced n 2017. In terms of this initiative, educators are recognised and rewarded for the results obtained during the Grade 12 final examination session. In an endeavour to promote high-quality education, additional recognition is reserved for distinctions obtained by learners across the various subjects.
- ENVIRONMENT (PHYSICAL AND LEARNING)
Some of the projects UHPPTA has embarked on pertaining to the infrastructure needs of the school, amongst others, include the installation of benches on the school’s playground, the upgrading and expansion of ablution facilities at school, as well as contributing financially to the creation of additional office space and the beautification of the school garden.
For a good number of years, UHPPTA has carried the cost of the Bulk SMS system used by the school to improve communication with the parents.
UHPPTA has identified the erection of a multi-purpose hall for the school as its flagship project. Progress is this regard has been very slow. It was decided, therefore, to donate R100 000of the money collected for the school hall to a more pressing need – the building of additional classrooms at the school. We are confident that this sizeable contribution will assist the school greatly in realising its goal.
- COMMUNITY PILLAR
We are acutely aware of the fact that our organisation cannot exist and prosper in isolation. As such, we regularly collaborate with various stakeholders, including tertiary institutions, alumni organisations of other schools, the private sector and other community organisations, to the benefit of our Alma Mater. Objectives such as the introduction of skills development programmes and creation of employment opportunities enjoy high priority within the organisation.
- FURTHER ASSISTANCE TO THE SCHOOL
This pillar represents all other forms of assistance we are able to offer the school not stipulated in the first four pillars, for example, helping in coaching of sports codes, assisting with invigilation duties during examination, etc.
CHALLENGES FACING UHPPTA
- Sustainability of fundraising initiatives (fund-raising fatigue)
- A shortage of alumni actively assisting in promoting the organisation
- Broadening the leadership base of the organisation
- Attracting sufficient funding to initiate and successfully complete identified projects
- Securing larger volumes of voluntary debit order contributions
- Expanding our network opportunities
History of the Uitenhage High Past Pupils and Teachers Association – UHPPTA
At the 30thReunion function of the 1978 Matrics, in December 2009, the idea for the establishment of a Uitenhage High School Alumni Association, was put forward. This suggestion was unanimously accepted. At the function, the left over money was pledged to launch this Alumni Association. This together with pledges made by those present, went towards establishing this organisation. A special donation of a cricket bat, signed by both the South African cricket team and their opponents at the time, England, was donated by Gerald Majola, the CEO of the South African Cricket Board at the time. This was to be auctioned in order to raise funds.
The following year, past pupils, mainly the 1978 matrics, which include Dominic Swarts, Ashley Killian and Keith Abercrombie, together with Kailash Karsan, who served as legal advisor, Ashraf Karodia, Mark Williams and Timothy Heynes, as well as former teacher, Farouk Wicomb, met to draw up a constitution for the Alumni Organisation. In 2010, after completion of this process the Uitenhage High School Past Pupils and Teachers Association (UHPPTA)was established. It’s aim was to assist the school, its pupils and all those employed at the institution in any way possible. It therefore had to raise funds in order to achieve this goal.
It must be noted that the establishment of this Alumni Association was largely inspired by
the memory of the school’s first principal, Mr HCC Hendricks.
Most of those involved in drawing up the constitution were elected to form the first executive, under the chairmanship of Dominic Swarts. The secretariat being Gayriyah de Long and Phyona Pyon (now Tait).
UHPPTA grew steadily over the next two years and in 2012 a new executive was elected, including Mark Williams as chairperson, Ghauderen Coetzee-de Vos and others. More former pupils joined, younger, and with more innovative ideas for fundraising and recruitment. This was a major change in how UHPPTA was to operate in future.
One of the first functions that was planned was the Gala Event. This function was organised with very little time available. It seemed impossible, but turned out to be a huge success. This event has become the showcase of UHPPTA.
Under the leadership of Mrs Angelona Williams many recruitment drives took place resulting in an increase in membership. During this period, UHPPTA worked closely with alumni bodies from other schools and the Nelson Mandela University. The relationship with the NMU Alumni Association plays a meaningful role in assisting students with their financial obligations.
UHPPTA provides an ideal opportunity to former pupils, teachers and others to ‘give back’ to their beloved Alma Mater, and in this way express their gratitude to this great institution for the role it has played in their lives. Uitenhage High Schoolis very appreciative to these persons who
continue to give of their time, energy and resources. Mention needs to be made of Ashley Killian, who has been involved since its establishment and still is a very active member.
Since its inception, UHPPTA has made a big difference in the lives of many learners and some needed relief to staff members. The core purpose of the association is to provide bursaries to deserving pupils, especially those registering at tertiary institutions. Later years, bursaries were also awarded to worthy current learners, to cover their school fees and to non-educator staff members, to further their studies.
UHPPTA was also responsible for erecting benches on the playgrounds as additional seating for the learners, creating additional ablution facilities for the staff, establishing a bulk SMS system which improved communication with parents. Recently an incentive for educators was established. This was awarded to educators whose learners achieved a 100% pass rate in their subject in the Grade 12 Final Examination and whose learners had excellent individual results (80% plus).
The big dream for UHPPTA is the building of a much-needed school hall. This huge project was started very enthusiastically. Building plans were prepared and other necessary steps were taken in preparation for the building of the school hall. Due to a great need for additional classrooms at the school, this project has been put on hold and funds were redirected to build additional classrooms. This after-all, is more crucial for teaching and learning.
UHPPTA’s latest project was the creation of an office on the school premises to accommodate the newly appointed communications manager. The official launch of this new office took place on Monday, 8 July. The person is employed by UHPPTA on a full-time basis, and her main task is to recruit new members and to attain more pledges. Hopefully this will boost the membership so that the organisation can play an even bigger role to serve the school and its learners.
Past pupils and teachers are urged to join the organisation and to make a regularly pledge, be it monetary or otherwise. Please send an email to: email@example.com in this regard.
This is to improve the lives of our children. LET US LIVE FOR THEM!
We wish UHPPTA well in all its future endeavours and may it grow from strength to strength.
Each year we havea number of fundraisers scheduled to finance our activities and projects.
These include but are not limited to; Ladies Brunches, Gentlemen’s Breakfasts, High teas, Bring and Braai’s, Langarm Dance, Gala events, etc.
Please support these events.