Partnership builds lab

2016-07-21 06:00
Bongumusa Makhathini, SAB corporate affairs director, Thandeka Gqada, DA MP and Head of Constituency, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, the MEC for Health, Thokozani Mcayiyana, chairperson for SGB and Patrick Barnes, the school principal, on Friday, at Usasazo High School, Khayelitsha.  PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

Bongumusa Makhathini, SAB corporate affairs director, Thandeka Gqada, DA MP and Head of Constituency, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, the MEC for Health, Thokozani Mcayiyana, chairperson for SGB and Patrick Barnes, the school principal, on Friday, at Usasazo High School, Khayelitsha. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

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Usasazo Secondary School in Khayelitsha now boasts a mobile classroom to accomodate learners while a science lab is being built in its place.

This was made possible by a major brewing company, after the MEC for Health in the province asked for its interevention.

Dr Nomafrench Mbombo said the donation served as commemoration of Nelson Mandela Day.

Overcrowding is rife at the school and the classroom will come in handy.

The University of Cape Town has offered to build the science lab on condition that the pupils moved to another classroom.

According to UCT, the cost of the lab is around R200 000.

Gollian Kay, head of science for Schools Development Unit at UCT, said the tertiary institution has a working relationship with all 20 high schools in the area, for which purpose it is to improve their standard of education through their learnership programme.

“It is a good working relationship between the university and the schools.

It ensures that more learners chose maths and science as a subject of learning. We are looking at how we can improve learning and teaching in schools.

We want to give them the resources they need and make space available for practical work,” Kay said.

Bongumusa Makhathini, from the brewery, said they are always willing to give a helping hand in education.

“We always get excited when we get an opportunity to contribute in the lives of children. We need to be partners with government and investing in education is important to us.

I am very keen to be abused as part of this partnership with government,” Makhathini said.

Mbombo said she chose to contribute in education as she believes it will surely empower learners and the community at large.

“Education opened doors for us. Education is very important. It is a core tool that will make a black child succeed. I am still going to abuse SAB, because there are still a lot of programmes that I need them to help us on,” Mbombo said.

Patrick Barnes, the school principal, said SAB came to their rescue with the mobile room to accomodate learners who used the science room as classroom because of overcrowding.

He said the school was designed to accommodate about 1000 learners, but now has reached maximum capacity with an enrolment of about 1352 learners.

“The classroom is going to go a long way in helping us.

I had sleepless nights thinking of solutions to our challenge finding a space for the learners.
UCT told us to find a place for the learners before they could start with the renovations to the science lab.

We are beyond capacity.

This is a challenge for many schools in Khayelitsha and there are still other children who could not find placements at schools and are sitting at home,” Barnes said.

The school has managed to improve its matric pass rate from 53% in 2012 to 85% in 2015.

Thandeka Gqada, a DA MP and Head of Constituency, said the importance of partnership is realised once a government cannot afford to give funds for a certain project.

“It is for the benefit of our children and for the community,” Gqada said.

Gqada also urged the community to protect the school.

Thabisa Mrwetyana, the secretary of the School Governing Body (SGB) thanked the company for coming-up with a “solution to our problem”.

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