CLARENS. – The South African National Parks (SANParks) has donated another science laboratory to a school in the Eastern Free State.
After donating a science laboratory to Sotho Secondary School in Qwaqwa in April last year, SANParks bounced back this year by again investing in the education of the black child. This time they have donated a laboratorty to the Moriting wa Thuto Secondary school in Clarens.
It was handed-over on Tuesday (01/12) by the SANParks’ acting managing executive of Parks, Mr Paul Daphne, and Tate Makgoe MEC for Education.
The handover was part of the SANParks Corporate Social Investment (CSI) which supports communities that are adjacent to its National Parks. The community of Clarens (where Moriting wa Thuto is situated) is adjacent to the jewel of the Free State, the mountainous Golden Gate Highlands National Park.
Addressing all invited guests and school children, Daphne said: “We attribute the success of national parks to the communities that live close by. They make us shine and it is therefore befitting that we plough back into their communities by contributing to the education of their children.”
He further outlined the different Environmental Education programmes which provide schoolchildren with the opportunity to visit national parks.
“Through projects such as Kids in Parks, Kudu Green School initiative, Imbewu and others, school kids are provided with one time opportunities of enjoying national parks closer to them. More than 150 000 children benefit from these annually,” he said.
Daphne spoke about SANParks ‘poverty alleviation projects in communities neighbouring national parks through the Expanded Public Works Programme.
“Programmes such as working for water and many others implemented in most of the national parks, provide much-needed employment in various communities. We are glad that as an organisation we are indeed doing our bit to push back the frontiers of poverty,” Daphne said.
He concluded his address by inviting learners to consider careers in conservation and become part of SANParks in the future.
Makhoe said they were truly grateful to SANParks for this wonderful donation to the Province.
“As the Free State, we always ensure that our schools are amongst the best in the country and this facility will undoub-tedly add much value to the learning experience of our learners. We pledge to take care of this, so that it doesn’t only serve the class of 2016 but many more learners who are still coming,” he said.
The MEC acknowledged the principal and her team for a sterling work they are doing.