Photos | Back to school at newly refurbished Setlabotjha Primary

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Gauteng Premier David Makhura, Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, Infrastructure Development MEC Tasneem Motara and Sebokeng Mayor Lerato Maloka cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony of Setlabotjha Primary School in Sebokeng. Photo: Rosetta Msimango
Gauteng Premier David Makhura, Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, Infrastructure Development MEC Tasneem Motara and Sebokeng Mayor Lerato Maloka cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony of Setlabotjha Primary School in Sebokeng. Photo: Rosetta Msimango

NEWS


The first day of the inland schooling calendar saw newly-refurbished Setlabotjha Primary School in Emfuleni, south of Gauteng, welcoming learners for the 2022 academic year on Wednesday.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi unveiled that state-of-the-art school under strict Covid-19 restrictions.

Lesufi disclosed that as of Wednesday morning there were about 700 learners in the province who were still waiting to be placed at schools. But he promised to have them behind desks by the end of January.

READ: A million Gauteng primary school pupils still on rotation system

“The head of department and the team are working extremely hard to complete this task,” Lesufi said.

But he was quick to say that kids not being placed in schools was not the department’s fault:

It is not for lack of planning or lack of schools that we could not place these kids. We have a phenomenon that hundreds of learners prefer to come to Gauteng, but the reality is that there are certain schools which parents prefer.

“We have been building beautiful schools in the townships, but there is this mentality that the township is bad and that former model C schools are good. The reality is that all our teachers are trained from the same pot, and I’m proud of the quality of teachers we have in this school,” Lesufi said.

He said it was a huge struggle to change the mentality that township education is poor quality education.

READ: Lesufi backs down to AfriForum

In partnership with the department of infrastructure, Lesufi vowed to continue eradicating mobile and asbestos schools, and to build schools of the future with smart boards, tablets and connectivity.

“We are proud that we don’t have schools with pit toilets or without electricity,” he said.

Lesufi also disclosed that about 95% of Gauteng educators have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

“It is a demonstration that our teachers are putting our children first and are ready to protect our children,” he said.

He also applauded children above the age of 12 who had received the vaccine.

Covid-19 regulations were observed at Setlabotjha Primary School as it reopened for the 2022 academic year. Photo: Rosetta Msimango
Inland schools opened on Wednesday, while coastal schools will open on January 19. Photo: Rosetta Msimango
Gauteng Premier David Makhura at the opening ceremony of Setlabotjha Primary School in Sebokeng. Photo: Rosetta Msimango
Learners returned to the classroom under strict Covid-19 regulations. Photo: Rosetta Msimango
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says the time for dusty chalk boards will soon be over. Photo: Rosetta Msimango
A learner tackles class work at Setlabotjha Primary School on Wednesday. Photo: Rosetta Msimango
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi in one of the smart classrooms. Photo: Rosetta Msimango

Makhura thanked all education stakeholders, teachers and parents “who have worked extremely hard, despite the disruptive impact of Covid-19, to try and maintain some decent education and learning”.

“We are ready to start academic year 2022. The outlook for Covid-19 is something we can’t be certain of, but we are happy that all the numbers and indications have been declining.”

He said that this academic year should be different as the province had learnt lessons from 2020 and 2021 under the pandemic.

Setlabotjha Primary School in numbers:

  • The renovations to the infrastructure cost R95 million;
  • The school accommodates 1 200 students and staff;
  • It features one library, two science labs and two multipurpose centres;
  • It boasts 31 classrooms, five of which are for Grade R learners and 26 for foundation and intermediate classes.


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