ALARMED at the decline in resources and achievements from Paterson High, a group of past pupils have become a shining example, by slowly but surely restoring the school to its former glory.
During its four years of existence, the Friends of Paterson High Trust has been making its presence felt within the walls of the school.
Last year they achieved their goal of re-establishing the school’s media centre. Using one of the old classrooms the alumni took to the task of obtaining computers, improving security and collecting new reading material. This was acquired through sponsorships and donations. In the end, the media centre cost a total of R50000.
This year they aim to introduce a computer lab, allowing the school for the first time to commence Computer Applications Technology classes next year.
The fundraising goal is to raise R1-million to build a school hall by 2015.
Aside from the annual goals, the trust developed the Friends of Paterson Bursary Fund, provides R1000 to the top matric each year.
This year the bursary fund increased the donation to R5000 for their star 2011 matric pupil Tafadzwa Chijabvu exceeded all expectations and obtained five distinctions.
Chijabvu said he had the community of Paterson High to thank for his success.
“I am the first child from my family to make it till matric. And I am confident in saying, what I achieved I would never have been able to do at any other school.
“The teachers gave me a lot of attention and love, which I have never experienced before. And thanks to the trust I am able to follow my dream of studying BSc Mechatronics at NMMU,” he said.
Trust chairman Richard van Briesies said the decline in resources and achievements from Paterson High was becoming alarming and something needed to be done.
“In the past Paterson was one of the top-achieving schools in the Northern Areas. And steadily we began to see the deterioration of the school which many of us prided ourselves on.
“We then came together and developed this trust. We wanted to provide initiatives for the pupils and teachers alike, to regain the development which was taking place,” he said.
The trust is appealing to the public and especially former pupils of Paterson to join their cause to uplift the school to its former glory.