A helping hand for Umsilinga Primary School

2011-06-08 00:00

A LOCAL primary school, Umsilinga Primary School, near Copesville, which is in dire need of upgrading got a shot in the arm when it received a donation of 1 200 lapdesks from AfriSam, to the value of R13 million.

The new desks make better use of the cramped conditions under which the children have had to learn. Last year, The Witness reported on the dire conditions at the school.

When The Witness visited the school in Swapo C near Copesville, the children were either taught in precarious mud huts or crammed into run-down prefabs.

Parents occasionally took it upon themselves to plaster cracks in these mud classrooms.

A big concern however was “roof collapse” on windy days which would result in children being hurt by the corrugated iron.

Umsilinga was promised a decent school about six years ago when the then KZN premier and current Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele visited the area.

What has held up construction, however, is the fact that the school is on private land.

While the Department of Education has roped in the Msunduzi Municipality to buy the land for the department to then purchase from them, the negotiations have been slowed by the landowner, believed to be a local businessman.

Headmistress Shovashni Essa said the school was very grateful to AfriSam for all their endeavours to enhance teaching and learning at the school.

Essa said that every child will have a lapdesk which will be of great help and the learners can carry their new desks to sit on when there is a need for learning under trees because of a shortage of classrooms.

“The children can also use it to do homework,” added Essa.

The school boasts electricity in every class because of AfriSam. The group, a leader in building construction materials, has also in the past provided money to train teachers at the school, as well as offering adult education to the community.

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