All-new hostel planned

2019-02-06 06:00
One of the bedrooms of the Dr Blok Secondary School’s hostel after the fire in January. Photo: Teboho Setena

One of the bedrooms of the Dr Blok Secondary School’s hostel after the fire in January. Photo: Teboho Setena

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The Free State MEC for Education, Tate Makgoe, has announced that the hostel at the Dr Blok Secondary School in Bloemfontein will be built from scratch despite cost implications.

He said the decision to build a completely new hostel followed findings made by the assigned architect.

Makgoe announced this after a follow-up visit to the school on Wednesday, 30 January, after his department had concluded an assessment into the feasibility of revamping the hostel for occupation by the learners.

He said the architect had found that the conditions were unsuitable.

The initial plan was to revamp a section of the hostel to temporarily accommodate the 140 learners. The section in question was utilised by the learners in previous years. The section has been found to be irreparable.

“Despite the costs and the fact that we have not determined the costs, we have to build a new hostel,” said Makgoe.

“The hostel is a very important investment in the future of our country.

“The department will incur the costs of building a new hostel. The surveyor will give us the estimated financial costs and we will move from that point.

“The hostel is very important because it is home to many children from schools where the pass rate was around 14%.”

Makgoe said the that fact that his department would incur unbudgeted costs to build a new hostel should be not a worrying factor.

“We are looking at expanding the hostel to accommodate about 300 learners from underprivileged communities, so they get quality education.

“Bloemfontein will have a completely new hostel to accommodate learners.

“Some of the learners are not fortunate to have good teachers and therefore the hostel would be ideal for them to get quality education,” said Makgoe.

He said the target set was to complete the first phase of the hostel within six months to accommodate the learners who have been relocated to another section of the hostel rented out privately to non-government organisations.

Makgoe said the long-term plan for the hostel at Dr Blok was that it had to be inclusive, and it had to accommodate both Sotho and Afrikaans speaking learners from rural communities.

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