I came to Meadowlands Secondary School in 1969. It was my toughest assignment for various reasons.
Over a thousand pupils converged onto the school which had a small staff with little or no secondary school experience. Mr Reg Munnoo was appointed acting Vice-Principal. I cannot remember how many units there were but I do know that there were seventeen units of standard six classes (Grade 8).
A major problem that confronted me was that the Department sent twenty newly qualified teachers with no experience. They were, however, dedicated and prepared to learn. With time some progressed to become Principals.
Initially managing a well disciplined school was problematic because learners came from different schools. Some will probably say that I was too strict, but I believe that the atmosphere created was conducive to good learning and this in turn reflected on the good matric passes. I have no hesitation in saying that they were amongst the finest children I have met in my forty years as a school master.
In my old age, I often think about the teachers and pupils of those days. I want to take this opportunity of apologising to both teachers and pupils if I ever caused you pain, it takes courage to admit one's mistakes and I know I made quite a few. In 1978 I was appointed Inspector of Education (whatever that means now). I left behind a good school in the capable hands of good educators,
Now as the school celebrates, its 35th year of existence I wish to offer it and its
present Principal, staff and, pupils all the success it can have in the future.
"Avant Garde – Op die voorpos"
It gives me great pleasure to include this message for inclusion in your 35th anniversary brochure.
Meadowlands has served our community faithfully for more
than three decades. Credit must be given to Principals, educators, administrative staff, departmental officials, parents and pupils.
The rapid political and economic changes require all of us to adequately prepare ourselves to meet future challenges. Education is the key to peaceful change. Unfortunately the education offered in most schools do not adequately prepare learners for job security. It is too academically orientated. It is for this reason that we cannot compete favourably with western nations. Meadowlands, fortunately, is at the fore front in correcting this imbalance by offering pupils, vocational and technical fields of study as well. Meadowland also nurtures sound values, right attitudes and positive thinking. Parents must also complement these functions at home.
I wish to congratulate the Principal, staff, pupils and parents on this joyous occasion and extend to them my best wishes for the future.
An anniversary is an ideal opportunity to look at our past performances; opportunities missed and look forward with hope to a better future. It is significant to note that the growth and development of the Montford area parallels the growth and development of Meadowlands Secondary School.
I remember with pride the opening of the school in 1969 because the first Principal, Mr P C C Nair was transferred from Westcliffe Secondary School, where I was a fledging teacher. Meadowlands Secondary School had an excellent start with good management and dedicated teachers. I had close links with the School long before I was appointed Principal in 1992.
My two and a half year stint as Principal at Meadowlands Secondary School was both enjoyable and challenging - it was the time of teacher unionism, the country moving towards a democratic society and the school changing its status from a purely academic school to a technical secondary school. These challenges were met with a considerable degree of success with the concerted help of dedicated staff, committed parents and pupils.
During this period, leadership styles had to change from a more autocratic style to a mixed participatory kind of management style - mindsets of teachers, management, parents and pupils had to change. It was definitely a very enjoyable and pleasant time to lead Meadowlands Secondary School at this stage in its history.
The shortage of technical skills in our country gives the school a great opportunity to address this problem in our labour market. The excellent workshops and a dedicated staff will be well placed to make a contribution to alleviate the shortage of much needed skills. Herein lies the challenge for the future.
Serving a community for 35 years is no mean achievement. The school and its community can be justifiably proud of all its achievements and look to the future with confidence.
May I take this opportunity of congratulating the staff, pupils and parents for taking the time to reflect on the past and set goals for the future.
My best wishes to the Principal, staff, parents and pupils on this glorious occasion and may you grow from strength to strength.
Mr K Pillay
Principal: 1 January 1992 to 30 July 1994
Thirty-five, not out and still going strong! In celebrating the thirty-fifth anniversary of Meadowlands Secondary, it is appropriate to stroll down Memory Lane as we take on present day challenges and contemplate the future. I recall, with fond nostalgia, joining the staff of Meadowlands secondary in 1974 as a relatively inexperienced teacher. I had the good fortune then of serving on a highly competent staff under an astute Principal, Mr P.C.C. Nair (the first headmaster of the school). At this time Meadowlands Secondary was still a mainstream academic institution with an enviable reputation for good discipline, excellent results and outstanding performance in the field of sport. In such an enabling environment, where the quest for excellence underpinned all our endeavours, I was able to acquire and develop my skills as an educator. The many learners of high calibre who have done their alma mater proud by excelling in academic and other spheres is ample testimony of SUCCESS.
I left Meadowlands Secondary on transfer during the early part of 1976. However my association with this fine institution was renewed when I was appointed Principal of the school in 1995. By this time the school had undergone a major transformation: it was now a technical-vocational institution geared to prepare young people for the world of work and self-employment. In this respect Meadowlands Secondary had stolen a march on other schools in the Chatsworth area and is well-equipped to advance the cause of Education and Training, now and in the future. In this context the Principal and staff of Meadowlands and its school community are indeed privileged to be spear heading such a vital and relevant educational programme.
Heartiest congratulations and may God bless Meadowlands Secondary and all those associated with this school on your thirty fifth anniversary. May you continue to flourish and as you pursue your vision for the future, I urge you to recall the profound words of the late John F. Kennedy: "Never look for a problem in an opportunity, but always look for an opportunity in a problem.”
It is my esteemed privilege and pleasure to extend my heartfelt felicitations to Meadowlands Secondary School on the commemoration of its 35th Anniversary.
This illustrious institution boasts a rich heritage enhanced by the expertise of the many competent principals, educators and learners who were associated with it. It is beyond question that Meadowlands Secondary has earned recognition as a school that has fostered the holistic development of its learners. Today this is manifested in the large number of highly successful individuals in all spheres
of life whose success may be attributed to having passed through the portals of this institution.
It is with a profound sense of gratitude and fulfillment that I reflect on my experiences as principal of a school that will always hold a special place in my heart. My appointment in July 1998 was historic in that it transcended gender barriers and afforded me the opportunity of being the only female in KZN at the helm of a technical high school. Meadowlands Secondary proved to be the school for the Millennium offering opportunities for innovation and multi-skilling through continuous transformation of the curriculum. During my successful and challenging, but short stay at this school, I nurtured and watched it grow and reclaim its position of prestige. A few of the highlights that contributed to the successful transformation of the school were:
Our integral role in the launch of the "School Watch" project in Chatsworth.
Our embarking on the 'BMW SEED' project that saw the precincts of the school beautified within a few months.
The appointment of grade controllers, pastoral caregivers and the training of volunteer educator, peer and parent counsellors.
Several strategies to restore discipline.
The unstinting support of the School Management team, the administrative staff, the educators, learners, general assistants, School Governing Body, the parent community, SAPS and the Social Work Department.
It is my fervent wish and prayer that through the synergy of all its stakeholders, Meadowlands Secondary School will continue to grow from strength to strength and will always strive to attain the heights of moral, technical and academic excellence.
It is with pride that our school celebrates its 35th Anniversary. Our school has served the community of the Montford and surrounding areas with distinction for the past 35 years. As the Acting Principal of the school for the past 4 years, it is a privilege and honour to add my message to those received from past Principals who are well known for their contributions, not only to Meadowlands but to education in general.
I therefore record my sincere gratitude to all the past Principals and Acting Principals for their contributions in upholding the motto of Meadowlands "Avante Garde" (at the forefront). Past records show that they certainly took Meadowlands to the forefront of educational, sporting and cultural excellence.
In particular, recognition and credit must be accorded to the person that 'laid the foundation" to this institution viz. Mr P.C.C. Nair, the first Principal of Meadowlands Secondary School. Recently I had the privilege of meeting him and having lengthy discussions which brought fond memories to him. Mr P.C.C. Nair led the school with distinction for 9 years. I also had the opportunity of meeting many of his former pupils at a recent launch of M.O.S.S. All of them remembered Mr Nair for setting and maintaining excellent discipline. They also expressed their gratitude for having been moulded into responsible adults.
The school has changed direction in the last 10 years, from providing a purely academic curriculum to a comprehensive technical and vocational programme. Today, its modern workshops cater for learners to pursue careers in Electronics, Fitting and Turning, Motor Mechanics, Motor Body Repair work, Welding and Metalworking, Plumbing and Sheetmetal work, Woodworking, Computer Studies, Travel and Tourism, Hotel and catering, Haircare and Cosmetics.
There is no doubt that Meadowlands Secondary is making rapid progress in providing a sound educational and training programme in preparing its learners for the world of work. This is attributed to the efforts of our dedicated staff, a hard working School Governing Body and a body of supportive parents. I trust that all relevant stakeholders will continue to work together in striving to achieve common objectives and reach higher goals in the years ahead.
May God bless Meadowlands Secondary School and all those who serve or attend this institution.