Big changes for Cottonlands

2016-01-28 06:00
Site foreman Benjamin Ndlela, ward councillor Choks Arunajallam and Cottonlands Primary School principal Mrs SL Mkhabela at the new toilet at kitchen area. Photo: darshan rangai

Site foreman Benjamin Ndlela, ward councillor Choks Arunajallam and Cottonlands Primary School principal Mrs SL Mkhabela at the new toilet at kitchen area. Photo: darshan rangai

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THE dire need for improvements at Cottonlands Primary School is finally being met with businesses - locally and abroad - stepping in to improve the school’s inadequate facilities.

The school caters for 1091 pupils and only has 16 classes and 16 toilets which mean there are almost 70 children in a class and one toilet per 70 children at break time.

School principal Mrs S.L. Mkhabela is upbeat though as things are improving for her pupils who will for the first time have 29 flush system toilets next month.

The toilets together with a kitchen and eating area are currently being developed at the school through donations from a Switzerland based company.

“This will be a first for, not only the school, but for many pupils. This will be the first time that they will know what a flush toilet is because we only have pit toilets at the school and in most of the community,” said Mkhabela.

Additional toilets and a playground area are also on the cards for development which will begin soon thanks to Afrisam who have also stepped in.

Mkhabela said once construction of the new toilets is complete, the area where the pit toilets are will be converted into classrooms.

The health benefits she said are also very important because the flush toilets will add to sanitation at the school as currently pupils sometimes have to relieve themselves on the floor because the queues are so long.

“The population of our school is growing every year and I’m so happy for the pupils because things are going to get better for them. The toilets will mean they don’t have to wait long to use the facility because of queues and more classes will mean we will have less pupils in each class and more time for each pupil,” said Mkhabela.

Mkabela said these changes will create a more pleasant and conducive learning environment for the children.

“The kitchen is something that has also been an urgent requirement in our school because almost all our children depend on the meals they get at school and having a kitchen means we can make proper meals for them,” she said.

Mkhabela thanked Tich Smith, founder of the Lungisisa Indlela Village, for introducing them to the Switzerland donors and councillor Choks Arunajallum for the introduction to Afrisam.

“The support has been great and our children can’t wait for everything to be finished. We are all very excited and grateful for what is happening at the school,” said Mkhabela.

She added that once all the construction is complete the Department of Education will also be assisting in the creation of the first library at the school.

Ward councillor Arunajallam said this legacy that is being created by everyone involved will have a long term impact in uplifting the community through education.

“This is the main primary school in this area and these facilities are integral to create a positive learning environment for the children so that they can have the best base for launching their schooling careers,” said Arunajallam.

“We hope these achievements will have a long term effect in helping them achieve success in their lives.”

The support has been great and our children can’t wait for everything to be finished. We are all very excited and grateful for what is happening at the school.

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