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South Africa: New School Brings Hope to Gugwini Community
Source: www.SAnews.gov.za
Source Date: Thursday, November 14, 2013
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: South Africa
Created: Nov 14, 2013

The school currently has a total of 134 learners and four educators. One teacher is permanent and three are temporary.

Speaking at the official handing over of the school, the Deputy Minister of Education, Enver Surty, told the locals he has no doubt in his mind that building the school in the area was the right thing to do.

“Government took a decision that no child should continue learning under trees or in mud schools. Education is the only way to break the cycle of poverty. Poverty should not be an excuse not to study further,” he said.

Surty urged parents to encourage their children to stay in school, and play an active role in their education.

Tshantshala joins the list of brand new schools that have been opened as part of the ‘One school a week’ campaign, which has seen the opening of Notsolo SPS, Mqokolweni SPS and Ndlovayiphathwa SPS, among others, as part of the programme.

In total, 16 schools have been built and handed over, and more schools are still to be handed over in the Eastern Cape.

The minister told the local communities that government was also committed to ensuring that every child attends school.

“Our task as government is to ensure that what happens in the classrooms is supported by parents and the community at large,” Surty said.

A teacher at the school, Zandile Magobongo, told SAnews that teaching in the new building has become more exciting.

“In the past, we used to teach under difficult conditions. The learners were crammed in one classroom and they were unable to concentrate,” she said.

Mabongongo said the learners were now more interested in learning since moving into the new school.

Prior to the building of the school, the learners were housed in a local church after the structure that they were using was blown away by strong winds.

A parent, who has two children at the school, Masisile Manzhele, told SAnews that she was happy with the school.

“I’m happy that my kids will learn in a safe environment and that they will no longer have to travel to neighbouring villages for school,” she said.

A Grade 3 learner at the school, Siphokazi Mbele, was excited to be in the new school.

“I want to be a teacher when I finish school,” she said.


About 50 schools are to be built through the Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI). The schools will accommodate more than 10 000 learners in the Eastern Cape.

President Jacob Zuma has already opened four schools in the province.

ASIDI aims to replace inappropriate school structures, address basic services backlogs and the provision of these services. It forms part of government’s 13th Strategic Infrastructure Project (SIP), which relates to the rebuilding of schools.

South Africa inherited a large number of schools in all provinces without water, sanitation and electricity, the bulk of the challenge being in the Eastern Cape.

The R8.2 billion public-private programme aims to eradicate the 496 mud schools in the country, provide water and sanitation to 1 257 schools and electricity to 878 schools by March 2016.

As part of the national ASIDI rollout, mud schools in the Eastern Cape will also be replaced with more appropriate structures, and upgrade schools to optimum functionality through the provision of core spaces such as libraries, laboratories and administration blocks.
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