Skills school ahead of the rest

2015-08-27 06:00

A break-in less than 24 hours before a visit by education MEC almost ruined the stop over but the great work by the learners won the day.

Siviwe School of Skills’ woodwork section was broken into hours before Education Mec Debbie Schafer arrived for a whistle-stop visit there.

According to staff, vandals made off with power tools worth thousands of rands, but it was the works produced by the learners that compensated for the loss.

Schafer had gone to see the progress at the school since it was converted from a normal school to a school of skills in 2007.

Not so long ago, the school was in the news for all the wrong reasons, some of which stigmatised it for accommodating so-called slow learners, but today they have proved to be skilled individuals despite being academically challenged.

Various skillsThe school offers skills training in basic welding and metal work, arts and craft, hairdressing as well as bricklaying and plastering.

One of their achievements includes a recent success in a schools competition as well as erecting a beautiful looking built-in kitchen unit for the school.

“I am so impressed to see what they have achieved. The Western Cape is clearly leading the country in providing skills training which is much needed and provides opportunities for learners which many would otherwise not have,” said Schafer.

She went on to congratulate the school principal Yolanda Luphondo and the school governing body for the work.

Schafer hailed Luphondo as a very passionate principal who really cares about the interests of the learners.

“It is evident that she motivates the learners to do their best and she is very proud of the skills that they are learning,” she added.

She said that the vandalism was heartbreaking as the department was doing its best to protect schools from vandals.

“It’s horrible because it really interrupts the good work done in the school by the learners and staff. We have done everything and there really isn’t much more we can do. The department spends about R20 million fixing up schools after vandalism and a further R28 million towards the safety schools programme,” she said.

Luphondo said that they appreciated the visit as it showed commitment from the department. She said that they were very disappointed that crime was hampering the progress at the school.

Tightening security“We have been pestering the department for funding for our projects and studies so it really disheartening to have such incidents where materials are stolen.

We are very happy for the visit as it suggests that the Mec is accessible to us,” said Luphondo.

She said that the visit will also boost the morale of the learners as it will show them that they too are taken seriously. SGB chair Phikolomzi Ntshweza said that the break-ins would not dampen the spirit at the school. “We have been conducting meetings regarding security.”

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