Celebrating a beacon of hope

Ayesha Ismail, Steenberg High School past pupil

Steenberg High School is celebrating 51 years of excellent service to Steenberg and surrounding communities this year.

Steenberg High, which during apartheid was designated for coloured children only, opened its doors on the February 18, 1966 as the first high school in the Steenberg area.

The first batch of “Standard 6s” (Grade 8s these days) was housed at Floreat Primary School while building continued. Soon 62 Standard 6s entered the premises to start their high school career. At the end of that year, 53 pupils wrote the examinations of whom 48 passed and five failed.

The first principal, Mr A Plaatjes, and his teachers Mr E Mohammed, Mr RH Jacobs, Mr M Patrick, Mr VS George and Mr CD Abrahams performed their duties under difficult circumstances.

Teachers and pupils had to be content with the noise of machines as the building carried on. Despite these circumstances, and with Mr Martin, the caretaker, and his team, the school endured the growing pains.

During the next 50 years, many changes occurred such as structural renovations with the building of the new administration building, the triple-storey and the hall.

The school also has a flourishing jazz band. Many staff members came and left and the school now has its fifth principal, A Kraak. A Marsh, H Davis and J Lochner preceded him.

Steenberg High over the years has produced a number of successful people in a variety of fields, including academia, education, business and media.

The school intends to have many events to celebrate half a century of being a beacon of hope to the Steenberg community.

An alumni society has been formed to continue the legacy of the school with the aim of helping pupils excel no matter their circumstances.