“This is part of government’s plan to provide quality education and to improving access to education. Today is a cause for celebration. The hand-over is the first of two phases which will see government handing over 25 schools over the next year,” he said.
The hand-over of refurbished and newly-built schools started in the Eastern Cape last year, a province that was prioritised due to its grave infrastructure needs – especially because of the number of mud-schools that needed to be eradicated.
“Nationally, we have already completed the construction of 75 schools. This programme is not only about providing schools, but it is about providing schools with quality infrastructure,” he said.
As part of the schools infrastructure initiative, the department has handed over 49 schools in the Eastern Cape between 17 July last year and August this year.
The Western Cape leg will see the department handing over 14 schools in the first phase, followed by another 11 schools thereafter.
Margot Kiewit, the school’s Principal, said the dignity of the learners and educators had been restored with the unveiling of the newly refurbished school.
“With this new building, we will enhance the academic performance of our educators and learners,” she said.
She said the 40 year-old school had been built with prefabricated building material that has a lifespan of 15 years.
This meant classrooms were very hot during summer and very cold during winter – conditions that were not conducive for learning, the principal said.
Upon his arrival at the school, the Deputy Minister, accompanied by Western Cape Minister of Education MEC Debbie Schäfer, greeted the school’s staff and learners – from Grade R to the senior grades.
MEC Schäfer said she was impressed with the principal for having been a loyal employee of the school for 36 years.
She also thanked all stakeholders involved in building the schools.
She said the province was also in the process of building 33 new schools in the Western Cape, 25 of which were part of the ASIDI intervention.
MEC Schäfer said the partnership between the national Basic Education Department and the Western Cape Department of Education was a key partnership that will contribute towards the delivery of quality schools.
The school has four Grade R classrooms, another four for specialist learning including a computer lab, 10 foundation classrooms, seven senior classrooms and eight intermediate classrooms.
“This is a building which is on par with some of the best schools, I believe, in South Africa,” said Kiewit.