Pass rate takes off after church adopts school

Archdeacon Zweli Tom.
Archdeacon Zweli Tom.

The pass rate at a school in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth has nearly doubled — from 38% to 75% — since it was adopted by a nearby church in 2010.

The successful partnership between Cowan High School and St Stephen’s Anglican Church was celebrated on Sunday (February 2, 2014) at the annual Educational Service, which was addressed by former Gauteng education MEC, Professor Mary Metcalfe.

The church stepped in to help in 2010 in response to an appeal by the Eastern Cape Department of Education for churches to intervene in the educational crisis by “adopting” schools and engaging proactively with parents, learners and teachers in their congregations with a view to promoting a culture of diligence and parental participation. The pass rate rose to 48% in 2011, 73% in 2012 and 74.44% in 2013.

In her address Metcalfe said the church and the school could be proud of their achievements in a province which still has a long way to go to achieve quality education for all.

St Stephen’s Archdeacon Zweli Tom who led the Educational Service said: “We felt called by God to adopt Cowan High School in 2010, and since then the partnership has flourished,” reports The Herald newspaper.

Tom said that the standard of results at the school has also approved.

“We now have more Bs and Ds than anything else.”

As a result of the partnership, the church also started a scholarship to send a needy pupil identified by the school to university, reports The Herald. Babalwa Mpolongwana was the bursary recipient on Sunday.


  1. It is about time the church stand up and do something. This will be the lesson to us all. We have also taken step to adopt a farm school in our area and God is providing us with all the resources. May the good Lord richly bless all the people who spent their time and money to improve the lives of this kids in the Eastern Cape. That was a really step change!

  2. I am really glad to see that the church is getting involved in education. I worked for the DOE for 35 years and I am now retired, but I would really like to get involved with schools in the Port Elizabeth area so that I can share and support them with the difficult issues they are facing today. I was stationed in Fort Beaufort and I worked so closely with the schools there which is understandable because of my position in the department of education. However, now that I am in Port Elizabeth on retirement, I find it very difficult to get involved, because the people do not know me. I would like to make a call to each school who wants to avail themselves for my services to contact me at Come brothers and sisters in the Lord let us reach out to each other because there are so much at stake and we cannot afford to isolate each other. God Bless. Dr. Robbie kruger.