Two Mdantasane schools’ renovation leaves them flush with success
Clogged and leaking toilets are a thing of the past at two Buffalo City Metro schools.
Phakamile Junior Primary and Fikile Gaushe Senior Primary school in Mdantsane have newly built ablution facilities thanks to the African Show Coalition Institute (Tasci).
NPO founder and director Bathandwa Kwababa said the organisation aimed to bridge the gap between underprivileged and privileged schools.
Tasci wants to bring dignity to rural and township schools facing historical infrastructural deficits.
With the assistance of the Embassy of Switzerland, the NPO was able to renovate 27 toilets at Phakamile and install water lines, basins and tiles.
Kwababa said the fund covered a Covid-19 response for teachers to orientate and “empower” them before going back to school and equipping pupils with educational material for learning.
Kwababa said Phakamile and Fikile Gaushe were the first two schools in the metro to benefit from the construction project.
But the project would expand to other schools in need.
“During our research we were astonished to find that of the 413 schools in BCM, over 300 had dysfunctional toilet systems. This speaks to the magnitude of the problem.
“When conducting site visits at schools, it’s always disheartening to hear teachers and principals discouraging us from staying too long because there aren’t any functioning toilets, or where there’s only one toilet,” Kwababa said.
She said Phakamile and Fikile Gaushe were schools that displayed a “commendable relationship” between parents, teachers and pupils.
“The proactive involvement of parents in schools is of utmost importance. Schools which have such experiences are always well kept, no matter the condition of the school.”
“Phakamile and Fikile Gaushe are such schools which have shown diligence in the involvement of parents, teachers and pupils collectively,” Kwababa said.
Phakamile principal Hambeka Skolpati was overjoyed that pupils would be “arriving to a fresh and new environment” in which they would be able to observe Covid-19 health regulations with ease.
She said the school, which serves 850 pupils, was built in 1965 and the core infrastructure had not been improved over the years.
“The toilets were a problem for a very long time. They were leaking and some were overflowing with sewage. As the school, we are so grateful and happy to have received brand new ablution facilities for pupils and staff,” Skolpati said.
“The facilities will finally match what learners have at home and they will be able to wash their hands with ease.”
Kwababa, who founded Tasci in 2016, said transformation of poor and struggling communities could come about through schools.
“In an effort to do that, Tasci has other educational programmes, such as an ongoing leadership enhancement project.
“This project explores cultural diversity and the importance of self awareness among young people. Learners are introduced to orientation sessions and are then given tasks to complete over a period.”
“Learners who complete each task receive a badge of honour. In all, there are 13 badges to collect,” Kwababa said.
She said the leadership programme had 463 active participants in schools including Hlokoma, Simnikiwe, Mzomhle and Tsholomnqa high schools.