Oprah Visits South Africa School

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American talk show host Oprah Winfrey visits the school she set up for underprivileged girls in South Africa. She says the money and work involved in creating the school was worth the effort.

Oprah Winfrey visited the Leadership Academy For Girls in South Africa on Thursday.

The school cost Winfrey $40 million of her own money. It was set up in 2007 in Henley on Klip, a town just south of Johannesburg.

She says all the money and work involved has been worth the effort.

[Oprah Winfrey, American Talk Show Host]:
"This has been harder than I ever imagined, it has cost more money than I ever imagined, 10 times more than I was told it would, 10 times more work than I was told it would, 10 times more commitment, 10 times more devotion and yet every single sacrifice has been worth it."

The South African government has been criticized for neglecting public schools particularly in poor and rural areas where classrooms are often overcrowded and inadequately funded.

High levels of classroom violence, teenage pregnancy and drug abuse exacerbate the poor standard of education.

But Winfrey says her academy does not have those problems.

[Oprah Winfrey, American Talk Show Host]:
"What's been exciting about this school, and if you ask any teacher, and I was just talking to the head of the school about this, not one moment has to be spent on discipline, not one moment of our time is spent trying to bring order into the classroom, or trying to get somebody to behave, or trying to get somebody to be kind, or try to stop somebody from bullying, not one moment. Every single girl who comes here understands the value of being here."

The school recently announced that it achieved a 100% pass rate for it's 72 graduating students.

Winfrey believes the girls can achieve anything they want.

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