Mrs Sume, the Principal at Charles Duna Primary in the Eastern Cape, is an inspiring educator and fundraiser. She was born into a family of 7 children. Her mother was a domestic worker and her father a labourer. They valued education and as a result they expected their children to excel at their school work. They were taught to give back and always be grateful for what they have. Charles Duna Primary is Mrs Sume’s alma mater, hence her passion for the school and the community. “I see it as giving back by striving to offer quality education to our learners.” There is much to be said about Mrs Sume, her awards and dedication to the school and what she has managed to her achieve in her time as principal since her appointment in 1998 is impressive, to say the least.
In 2002 she received an award from READ for Most Supportive Principal. In 2014 she managed to motivate an SGB member/volunteer parent to apply to NNMU and study to be a Foundation Phase educator. This person has since been successful and is helping in motivating more parents to go back to school. She also organized bursaries for her neighbouring crèche teachers, her 3 grade R practitioners and 4 parents to study Level 2 at Early Inspiration. This year the programme continues and they are now doing Level 4.
Mrs Sume says the biggest achievement they have at their school is “always having a functional SGB. Each term after elections I partner with Stephen Mazungula, a neighbouring school, and NMMU to do workshops for them, including roles and responsibilities, financial management and the crafting of school policies. Transparency is what I believe in.”
Mrs Sume and her school are working with different organisations to expose them to in-service training workshops. She applied to the GMSA Foundation and they paid for the ACE management course for all the SMT members. “Graduating together was emotional!” The school has introduced Learning pins, given to top achievers per grade for all subjects, which motivates healthy competition amongst the learners. She also identified the need to focus on Maths and Literacy as they weren’t performing well in the ANA’s and so she found a sponsor, Anglo Ashanti Gold, to pay the stipends of three facilitators to provide afternoon maths classes.
She says Edupeg has “been instrumental in injecting some fun into our Maths and Literacy lessons!“
Mrs Sume’s development for her school does not stop there. They are very involved in sport which has “transcended beyond the typical township codes i.e. rugby, soccer and netball. “ They have introduced gymnastics, which has seen two learners and a teacher going to Switzerland to attend international games, funded by Nedbank. Soccer is also doing well and an ex learner, Siyabulela Songwiqi, has played for Umthatha bucks. They are now focusing on a new venture, swimming. Swim SA conducted lessons on water safety to all learners at the school and they plan to bus learners to a pool in Kwa Zakhele. Mrs Sume says “Swimming is a skill worth having and who knows, the next Chad could be one of our learners!”
Mrs Sume has been a hugely successful fundraiser and has been able to get individuals and companies to support their school endeavors. The largest donation was from Coca Cola who donated money to overhaul their water pipes after not having water for 14 years!
Her dream is to have a multi-purpose hall with a swimming pool, benches in designated areas to be outside classrooms and an eating area, a hostel to accommodate learners who are having challenges at home and a bigger staff room as they are currently using a classroom for their meetings.
They have a relationship with Calabash Tours which has resulted in the school hosting other schools and universities from the USA and UK. The donation of the soccer field and netball court was from the UK. The books in their library (a renovated container, pictured) come from schools in England. They have also elicited the help of unemployed housewives in Summerstrand to assist and the Department of Education to train the Library assistants (parents and learners).
The schools vision is ‘Breaking Barriers, Advancing Excellence’ and they are doing just that!
They strive on creating opportunities and opening doors.