Making classrooms shine bright

2018-11-13 06:00
One of the classrooms before revamp.

One of the classrooms before revamp.

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Former learners of Kleinberg Primary School in Ocean View are rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty to improve the school.

The learners, who were all in Grade 7 in 1994, came together and decided to do something for their school which is almost falling apart because it is so old. They are now calling on other learners and anyone else that wants to help the school to join them.

Earl Mentor, one of the coordinators of the project they call Teach Peace, says the idea is to get everyone involved and bring back peace and respect for the classrooms. “Through the project we will have an adopt-a-classroom so that we revamp the school. After coming together the class of 1994 noticed that the school was dilapidated and they decided to do something about it. We painted the classroom and redecorated it and arranged the furniture.We also thought of a different sitting arrangement to encourage conversations,” he says.

They also brought in a lot of colour to the classrooms to brighten them up because they looked very dull.

The 48-year-old school serves learners from Red Hill, Masiphumelele and Ocean View. Over the years, the school has become run down.

None of the learners pay school fees. There are about 34 classrooms and the school has 1160 learners. Their hope is to have all the classrooms revamped.

Tasneem Abrahams-Sylvester, a teacher at the school and responsible for the project, says when she started at the school, her classroom was the old art room that was pretty run down. “The kids and I often spoke about revamping our class as it is such a big space. I took the initiative and put a plea out for donations, and the response was overwhelming. I’m truly grateful to all the sponsors who came on board. I have since challenged people to join me in this venture and provide other classes with the same makeover. Shortly after my revamp, a Grade 7 class of 1994 transformed their old Grade 7 class. The transformation was absolutely beautiful. We’ve also managed to fix all broken windows at the school and are in the process of painting the entire school,” she says.

Abrahams-Sylvester says the project aims to revamp more classes by getting former learners and local companies involved to help.

School principal Zaffie Oppelt says it is an old cardboard school and it is slowly falling apart. “We really appreciate what the former learners have done. It means a lot for our learners. When the learners came into the revamped classroom and saw the way it was done with bright colours, it was a beautiful thing to watch. They were all smiles and so happy that the classrooms look beautiful and you could see that made their day. So far two classrooms have been done and I’m glad that the news is spreading and it is contagious in a good way that we are getting people coming on board to help the school,” says Oppelt.

Oppelt says they will appreciate any help they can get. “We want the best for the learners and we want to make the environment conducive for our learners. Whoever wants to come on board and help us is welcome. I’m also calling on the community to take ownership of their school. It is a community school, please look after it. I want everyone to look at the school and be proud.

V To help the school, call 021 783 1741 or email kleinbergps­


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