'If you burn down this school, I’m not going to build another' - Lesufi

2017-05-30 12:29
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi tests out one of the new tablets with a pupil. (Simvuyele Mageza/Netwerk24)

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi tests out one of the new tablets with a pupil. (Simvuyele Mageza/Netwerk24)

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Pretoria – "If you burn this school down, I’m not going to build another one for you."

These were the words of Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi to parents, when he handed over the brand new Sinenhlahla Primary School in Rethabiseng, Bronkhorstspruit, to the community.

Lesufi introduced the state-of-the-art school to the community on Monday morning, Netwerk24 reported.

The "smart school" boasts, among other things, special soundproof walls which can also retain heat, as well as solar panels as alternative source of energy. The roof is insulated to reduce the loss of energy from the buildings.

The state-of-the-art school is situated in the middle of a very poor township. The school is surrounded by gravel roads occupied by goats walking up and down. The school hall can be seen from a distance, because it is nearly the tallest building in the area.

According to Lesufi it is all part of a bigger plan.

'These children are going to change the country'

"Our pupils will receive education of a high standard. Here they will learn to become engineers, micro-biologists and much more. They won’t just learn how to apply for a government grant. These children are going to change the country," he said.

Every teacher at the school received a laptop computer that they will use to plan their lessons. The laptops can be linked to a large electronic screen in the front of the classroom. The pupils also won’t use books; instead they have each been given tablet computers.

"No pupil will have to run outside to clean the duster again. Teachers can give better lessons, because they will never struggle with chalk. It is all smart teaching," Lesufi said.

The community here is poor and most people are unemployed. For that reason, there are no school fees and learners receive free education.

"Many universities in our country don’t have this kind of technology. We don’t have to feel ashamed of where we come from, we are just as good as the top schools in the world. There is nothing stopping you now from making a real difference," Lesufi told the schoolchildren.

"And to the parents, I promise you now, if you protest and decide to burn down the school, your children won’t have a school. I’m not going to build another one. You will have to make a plan yourselves."

The Sinenhlahla Primary School had reportedly cost R122m. The Gauteng Department of Education said it planned on opening a new school in the province every month until 2019.

Read more on:    panyaza lesufi  |  pretoria  |  service delivery  |  education

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