Despite robberies, gangs, drugs, teachers fight for their pupils’ futures
Coronationville Secondary School is reaping the rewards of a devoted teaching staff who go the extra mile
Despite gang wars, widespread drug and alcohol abuse, and the effects of high unemployment and poverty seeping into lives of children, teachers at Coronationville Secondary School in Johannesburg aren’t deterred from ensuring they deliver a basic human right — education.
Principal Floyd Billings grew up in the equally troubled suburb of Westbury — a stone’s throw away from Coronationville and Slovo Park — which all share the same socioeconomic problems.
Billings has been the principal for five years and before that served as a teacher at the same school for 24 years. The school is sandwiched between two informal settlements and lies opposite a block of flats where unemployed youths sit around, some cradling babies. Outside the school, a young boy sat against the palisade fencing — an abandoned, silver hookah pipe a few metres away from him...