Paulos Ngobeni Primary School, named after the first person who stayed in this area, was established in 1983. With its 782 learners, 24 educators and four supporting staff, they need the support of others to achieve their mission: “To provide a sustainable life-long quality education for our learners by quality teaching & learning, quality governance strategies, providing our educators with development opportunities and developing our school premises fully through education.”

Dephney Hlekani Makubele was appointed the deputy principal at Paulos Ngobeni in 2002 and was promoted to principal in 2004. Makubele and staff believe in their motto: “Education is the mother of success.”

The school is continuously challenged by the lack of classrooms, learners’ furniture, computers, parent involvement, a school hall, and proper sports field, making it challenging to offer extracurricular activities to learners (such as soccer, netball, volleyball, basketball, traditional dances and choir practice).


The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre’s Wildlife Conservation Programme first adopted the Paulos Ngobeni Primary School in 2008, “as a means of uplifting the lives of our younger generations, especially with the knowledge that these are the individuals that will help preserve and rescue our wildlife for the future.”

During holidays, HESC arranged for a local qualified computer educator to provide the necessary media training to teachers. This educator is also available for after hour assistance and student support throughout the year.

Grade 4 learners from the school visit the Centre to learn more about endangered wildlife, and the cheetah in particular. They work closely with the ‘Wildlife Conservation Experience’ participants as they go about their daily duties. Participants are also able to assist the Primary School with much-needed equipment. Visitors may also raise funds for the school through projects of their own.

Over the years, various projects have contributed greatly to the school grounds, and offer the learners the opportunity to participate in a fun-filled learning environment. Projects such as the planting of fruit trees, growing a vegetable garden, looking after chickens, participating in the ‘Noah’s Art through Rhino Art’ and other art projects, completion of the library and computer class are but a few of the projects initiated.