Pushing on in a new school

2020-01-28 06:00
Residents are knocking down walls and removing burglar bars to use for their own homes.PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

Residents are knocking down walls and removing burglar bars to use for their own homes.PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

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Crestway High School learners started the new academic year at a new school on Wednesday 15 January. But the excitement was somewhat dampened as the old school, located next door the new premises, was vandalised in the early hours of Monday 22 January.

Residents reported seeing people carrying desks run out of the old school and a fire burning on the side of the premises on Joe Marks Boulevard.

Principal Vernon Säfers says he is sad at the state of the old school as the building holds fond memories for him.

It is a free-for-all at the old school as residents help themselves to materials.

“When we took occupation of this new school, we had to take everything out of that (former school) space. What happened then was that the department of public works was supposed to demolish the classrooms on that side,” he explains.

“I kept the classrooms locked because I didn’t want the community to know it was vacant. We had to remove the locks last week and it has given the community free access to the school. But the building now belongs to the contractors and they were supposed to take it down quickly – before this happened.”

Säfers believes the move to the new premises was long overdue.

“When they built the (former) school, it was supposed to last about 10 or 12 years. It was a ‘plankie’ (school constructed of prefab or inappropriate materials) school. But we had been at the school for almost 43 years in 2019,” he says.

“The building was really starting to collapse. It was hard to maintain. But the school carried many good memories over the years.”

The new school has a multimedia centre, admin offices, high-quality science and consumer studies laboratories and a hall big enough to accommodate all 900 students and 26 educators.

Säfers has high hopes for the school. “We were hoping the old school could be developed into a sports facility. We have applied for that. But, for now, phase 2 – a sports field – will be developed at the back of this school. It should be done by June.”

He says the new school has instilled a new sense of pride in the learners.

“They want to come to school – they are excited! This school is going to change the landscape of the community. The previous principal of the school, Shaykh Yusuf da Costa, laid a good foundation and what we have tried so far is to maintain his level of commitment to education.”

  • To contact the school, email crestwayhigh2013vs@gmail.com.

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