Pre-school welcomed

2016-03-08 06:00

It’s time to learn for the 160 pupils at the new Masi-educate pre-school.

The school was opened on Friday by Suzette Little, Mayco member for social development and early childhood development (ECD), after renovations at the old farmhouse at the northern end of Masiphumelele on City of Cape Town land.

Local NGO Masicorp, which has expertise in early childhood development, has undertaken an extensive renovation of the farmhouse and the creation of eight more classrooms and other facilities. The pre-school now has over 160 places for children, including a Grade R class.

The pre-school was run for many years by Winnie Tsoto before she retired in 2013, and will now be run by new principal Lindi Hangana.

“This has been a wonderful experience for all of us involved and we are very proud of our new school,” says Hangana.

In 2012, the City asked Masicorp to make the original pre-school sustainable and to bring it up to the standards set out by the provincial social development department.

Masicorp estimates there are more than 4000 children in Masiphumelele between the ages of one and seven and many of them do not have a place at a pre-school. It is hoped that the partnership between Masicorp and the City is a further step in the provision of essential education facilities for the township, says Andrew Smith, president of Masicorp.

Boosting the level of ECD has far-reaching effects, says Michael Tyhali, principal of Ukhanyo Primary School.

“I am so pleased to see this new pre-school – the difference a good ECD education can make to a child will benefit them throughout their lives,” he says.

The project has cost R4.6m, of which R4.1m was raised by Masicorp from donors in South Africa, the United States, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

The City made a R500 000 contribution and will continue to support the pre-school with development and building maintenance costs.

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