Con­tainer class­room boost for school

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - ASANDA SOKANYILE

A GROUP of good Sa­mar­i­tans braved a cold and wet morn­ing to do­nate a mo­bile class­room to Usasazo Sec­ondary School in Khayelit­sha.

Health MEC No­mafrench Mbombo, South African Brew­eries (SAB) and Con­tainer Rental and Sales yes­ter­day do­nated the mo­bile class­room to the school, which has more than 1 300 pupils.

The 58m ² mo­bile con­tainer class­room will ac­com­mo­date around 30 pupils.

Prin­ci­pal Pa­trick Barnes said the ini­tia­tive was the re­sult of UCT stu­dents hav­ing do­nated a sci­ence lab to the school, which had un­for­tu­nately left them with a short­age of learn­ing space.

“UCT do­nated the lab on con­di­tion that it is used solely as a sci­ence lab and is prop­erly main­tained.

“We had no other op­tion, but to dou­ble it up as a class­room be­cause the school did not have space for a lab, so that meant we were a class- room short,” he said.

Barnes ap­proached the Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment, but was told there were in­suf­fi­cient funds to build an ex­tra class­room, or to sup­ply a mo­bile one.

“That was when I ap­proached the Health Depart­ment and they went to SAB on our be­half.”

With schools re- open­ing on Mon­day, Barnes said he was cer­tain the mo­bile class­room would “re­vive the pupils’ de­sire for learn­ing and that will fur­ther im­prove re­sults”.

“When I joined the school in 2012 the pass rate was sit­ting at 53 per­cent. Through sound part­ner­ships, we are now sit­ting at 85 per­cent.

“We are grow­ing as a school be­cause of these part­ner­ships and the chil­dren also ap­pre­ci­ate the things done for them by out­siders, so I am sure that this will make them want to do more than they are do­ing now.”

Mbombo said her in­volve­ment in the project was close to her heart.

“I be­lieve there is a need for a real fo­cus on ed­u­ca­tion so at the start of the year I look at pri­mary school chil­dren and their needs, and at this time of the year I look at high schools.

“The prin­ci­pal ap­proached our depart­ment seek­ing as­sis­tance and we reached out to SAB and they gladly do­nated this mo­bile class­room which will help pupils who re­ally need it.”

Mbombo said there was a need to sup­port pupils with re­sources.

Clifford Hoff­man, from Con­tainer Rental and Sales, the com­pany that made the mo­bile class­room, told Week­end Ar­gus he be­lieved the struc­ture would “bring change to the school and the com­mu­nity”.

A li­brary was also do­nated to the school ear­lier this year.

asanda.sokanyile@inl.co.za

PIC­TURE: BHEKI RADEBE

Health MEC No­mafrench Mbombo, Usasazo Sec­ondary School gov­ern­ing body chair­man Thu­lani Gcayiya and prin­ci­pal Pa­trick Barnes at the han­dover of a new mo­bile class­room in Khayelit­sha yes­ter­day.

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