Minna Sachs – Perspective on Its Nosedive


I would like to seize this opportunity to put things in perspective with regard to a certain J. J. Jossob’s letter, “Credibility is the Passport”, published in the Friday, 3 February edition of your esteemed newspaper. I definitely owe it to the broader public to clarify certain issues. Performance of the School I have got nothing to hide as J. J. Jossob states in the letter. Various factors determine the standard of performance of a school. The incident J. J. Jossob is referring to – a class of learners that was put back for a year because of poor teaching, which happened before I arrived at Minna Sachs, and the general performance observed, are attributed to a blend of factors. As for this particular incident, the then management of the school should take a lion’s share of the blame. Routine class visits, regular control of written work and assessment tasks would have enabled them to detect the problem of poor teaching at an earlier stage and thus could have prevented such a catastrophe. That incident was a sign of pathetic management skills and gross negligence that led to the embarrassment of our school. Cornelius Engelbrecht was certainly no part and parcel of that fiasco, or in no way contributed to it. J. J. Jossob’s allies, the very same office he/she seems to be defending is partly to blame for the state of affairs at this school. For as long as I can remember, this mighty office used to dump some come-and-go principals, who lacked visionary leadership and proactivity, at this school. As such, Minna Sachs could not be moved to higher heights. Minna Sachs, as the then reputable highly respected symbol of pride and glory, nose-dived more or less as from 1987/1988. My Inability to Move the Earth I arrived at Minna Sachs Primary School in 2001. Having realized that this school is not on par with other schools in town, I co-founded the School Development Projects Committee in 2002 with the ultimate aim to convert our school into a reputable, learning institution. I was tasked with writing project proposals for soliciting funds and other school development related assistance. In 2003, we succeeded in acquiring much needed assistance in the form of a computer from the national power utility, a considerable amount of money from a fishing company and a classroom fully furnished by one of our esteemed banking institutions. Engelbrecht’s credibility, dedication, energy and potential were surely invested in such endeavours, yet unnoticed by narrow-minded and short-sighted people like J. J. Jossob and allies. Transformation Rome was not built in a day! Therefore, transformation is also a gradual process that takes time. However, there are very critical thresholds thwarting our quest for delivering quality education. Although looking sluggish at the moment, we are slowly but surely implementing measures and strategies aimed at restoring Minna Sachs’s fame and glory enjoyed many years ago. Disappointingly, the come-and-go principals contributed towards the parental community and the entire public’s distrust in the school and the subsequent negative perceptions about the school, something we are also hard at work to address. The Platform The public platform that J. J. Jossob states I am using is indeed a constitutional provision and not a platform used by people who are afraid to face others, as he/she is insinuating. If J.J. Jossob was and is a concerned parent as he/she seems to be, why couldn’t he/she approach the relevant authority to address his/her concerns regarding the performance of the school. Me and my company I am taking notice of your reference to me and my company. My self-esteem and self-respect, the confidence and courage to stand up for what I believe in are not ballooned by my alliance with others, but are an inborn quality of individuality. However, as a consciously motivated person I am fond of networking with like-minded people and do not need your approval, nor that of the office that you are defending so much. Innuendos, malicious intent, rumour-mongering and untruthfulness You and your allies lack the culture of public debate and erroneously believe that you cannot publicly be challenged or criticized about your wrongdoings because of the position in public offices. My letter of Friday, 13 January 2006 was just as factual a revelation of characters we are dealing with on a daily basis. According to J.J. Jossob I am running or want to run for office. Whatever office, I also want to know. By the way, I know of some of your allies your are defending so much, who over-enthusiastically and over-ambitiously aspire to occupy very influential positions in the public service, yet lacking credibility, vision, experience and the necessary leadership to serve in the capacity of that magnitude. J.J. Jossob seems to be operating under pretext as his gender/sex is an enigma. It makes me wonder whether he is indeed not an ally of the office he so defends. To this end, I hope that my intention of putting things in perspective is well understood. Cornelius Engelbrecht Keetmanshoop