Gaborone — First Lady Ms Neo Masisi yesterday planted a tree in the Naledi Senior Secondary School yard as the Gaborone South based institution kickstarted its 40th-anniversary celebrations with a global warming awareness campaign.
Ms Masisi, former first lady Ms Barbara Mogae, deputy speaker of the National Assembly and area MP Kagiso Molatlhegi were among the dignitaries who contributed to the occasion by purchasing a tree for P1 000 and planting them on the school grounds.
South Africa's deputy high commissioner to Botswana, Ms Bulelwa Kiva, who planted a 'Mandela tree', lauded the institution for its noble effort of promoting a cleaner environment.
"Southern African countries are currently stepping up their efforts to contribute to the green economy, and we welcome the initiative by Naledi to plant trees in the school. During the South African struggle against apartheid, some of the children of liberation struggle stalwarts were educated at this school and we are pleased to be a partner," she said.
She said this year South Africa celebrated the legacy of Nelson Mandela, who was born 100 years ago hence the decision to use the Mandela theme.
The school head, Mr Othusitse Othusitse said through the initiative, they were making what he called a 'modest contribution' towards mitigating the effects of global warming.
"We decided to sell 40 trees to various stakeholders with a view of raising P40 000 for the school anniversary. We exceeded that target and managed to have more than 60 sponsors, and with this initiative, we have managed to publish a magazine to raise awareness about the environment and also promote stakeholder participation in our anniversary celebrations," said Mr Othusitse.
Established in 1978, the institution started as a junior secondary school and was later elevated to senior status. Enrolment currently stands at 1 662 comprising 788 Form Fours and 874 Form Fives and was aligned as a 42 stream school with Form Four and Form Five 21 classes each.
"Naledi means 'star' in Setswana, and this school has indeed lived up to its name, as it is the leading school in the BGCSE examinations, including coming out as the number one performer from 2008 to 2011.
We have also achieved a record 70 per cent quality pass rate of credit five or better. We have contributed to the development of human capital in the country," Mr Othusitse said.
One of the organisers of the activity, Ms Shermy Motlhabane said the intention was to bring together stakeholders including alumni to improve infrastructure and the image of the school.
With the main 40th anniversary celebrations scheduled for September 14, she said they were working on various initiatives including refurbishment of the staff house, expansion of the parking lot and installation of a television set in the students' dining hall.
Ms Motlhabane said some of the school's alumni had already pledged to assist.
Source : BOPA