A Brief History of Crescent School
In 1955, the Bechuanaland Muslim Society approached the British Government with a request to build their own School. The government agreed to this proposal and was willing to share the costs on a pound for pound basis. The Muslim community, with the help of certain guarantors, raised the necessary £12 500 and construction began in early 1960.
The Lobatse Indian School was officially opened by the Resident Commissioner, Sir Robert Peter Fawcus, on 27 November 1961. A brass plaque was erected at the entrance to the School to commemorate this event. The first Headmaster was Mr. A C Naidoo. In 1963, Mrs. M McElroy was appointed as Headmistress and she remained in that position until 1990.
In 1964 the discriminatory laws were repealed and in 1965 the first Motswana pupil, named Tumelo Lejaha, was enrolled at the Lobatse Indian School. It therefore became appropriate to change the name of the School to Crescent School. As the enrollment at Crescent School grew, the enrollment of the English Medium School declined and in 1970 these two Schools merged.
On 19th October 1989, Crescent School was registered as a Private School under the Companies Act (CAP 42:01). According to the Government White Paper of 1990, the offering of State granted land is the limit of support to English Medium Private Schools in Botswana. Crescent School like all other Private Schools receives no financial support of any kind from the Botswana Government and is entirely dependent for its income on the parent community.
It should be noted that Crescent School operates on a “not for profit” basis and reinvests all surpluses back into School.
In line with this policy, a new double-storey building to accommodate the senior primary classes was opened in 1993 and three additional junior primary classrooms were completed. An additional classroom block, comprising 3 classrooms, a science laboratory, an additional classroom and toilets was completed in 2002. 8 Secondary classrooms with toilets were completed in 2003. In 2004, a further Secondary block was built, containing 5 classrooms, a computer room and a physics laboratory. More recently, a new Primary block was completed in December 2006. This contains three new classrooms downstairs and a spacious Art Room and a Computer Laboratory upstairs. Further Primary classrooms and a Secondary biology laboratory were opened in 2009.
As there was a need for an English Medium Secondary School in Lobatse, the Board of Councilors decided to launch the first Year One (Form One) class in 1999. The adjacent classrooms, attached to the Mosque, were hired for this purpose. The ultimate aim of the Board of Councilors was to build its own Secondary School campus and to follow the Cambridge IGCSE course. This aim has been achieved and the first secondary school class to be enrolled completed the IGCSE examination at the end of 2003. In February 2007, the first Cambridge ‘A’ level students began their studies, this being another positive venture for the School. Fully equipped Chemistry; Biology and physics laboratories; a computer room and a block of eight classrooms complete the Secondary Phase to date.
Authority of School Council/Articles of Association
The Crescent School Board of Governors acts as the overall legal and corporate authority of the School. All activities, programmes, associations and legal affairs within the school community fall under the authority of the Board of Governors. Decisions regarding the direction of the School programme, as well as decisions of general policy, are taken at the level of the Board of Governors. The Governors are guided by the Articles of Association as required by the Companies ‘Act.
As mentioned earlier, Crescent School is a non-profit organization and all accrued funds are redeployed for the development of the school.
Election and Appointment Process
There are presently nine members serving on the Crescent School Board of Governors. Four members are elected from the parent body, four members from the Guarantors and one from the Ministry of Education. The Election of parent members and members of the Guarantors is held beginning of each year. The election of parent representatives takes place at the Annual General Meeting of the Board of Governors, while the election of the Guarantors takes place at a special meeting of the Guarantors prior to the A.G.M.
The Board of Governors and the Professional Staff
The Board of Governors has vested both executive and administrative authority and responsibility in the School Head. The School Head is an ex-officio member of the Board and is directly responsible to the Board. All professional staff members are responsible to the School Head in all academic, professional and administrative matters.
Policies of the Board of Governors
The School Board of Governors undertakes to set the fee structure for each year, after reviewing the needs of the School. Fee increases are wholly dependent on the total enrolment of pupils and the need to cover costs as highlighted in the approved budget.
The size of the School and the enrolment figure per class are set by the Board. The official class size limit is between twenty-five and thirty children per teacher.
Apart from keeping abreast with new developments and allocating funds or raising funds for such developments, the Board assesses the academic and professional needs of the School in order to increase or create special teaching posts.
Each year at the Board of Governors annual general meeting, external auditors are appointed to audit the finances of the School. The audited financial reports are presented at the AGM and are available for scrutiny and question by the Parents.
Parents Teachers Association
The Parent Teacher Association is a voluntary group of Parents and professional staff which assists the School in matters such as fund-raising, the provision of facilities and the carrying out of any duties conducive to the welfare and interest of the pupils.
Each parent becomes a member of the Association through the payment of P50.00 per child per term. The fee is added to the School Fees payable at the beginning of each term of any new year.
An Executive Committee manages the affairs of the Association. The Executive Committee is elected by the parent body at the Annual General Meeting held during the third term of each year. The Association operates under the authority of the Board of Governors.