Super Schools: Jeppe Park Primary keeps inner-city kids' education, meals going

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A teacher helps a pupil during class at the Jeppe Park Primary School in Johannesburg. (Screengrab)
A teacher helps a pupil during class at the Jeppe Park Primary School in Johannesburg. (Screengrab)

Jeppe Park Primary School in Bjala Square serves 300 pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds in the inner city of Johannesburg.

For many of its pupils, the meal they receive at the school is their only hot meal of the day. So when lockdown started the team had to come up with a strategy that ensured that the pupils continued learning and were fed. 

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The school has faced many challenges in the past. Just last year, it had to close down due to xenophobic violence in the inner city. This has taught them to stand strong in the face of adversity.

Being a school that, in addition to education, provides breakfast, lunch, uniforms and daily counselling and social support for as little as R7 000 per student per annum, they managed to reach more than 80% of pupils during the lockdown.

Teachers recorded video lessons and sent it on WhatsApp groups together with worksheets that the parents would write out and have the children complete. Those who didn't have data, was provided with data and most without a smartphone, received one from the school to use.

This is a phenomenal achievement especially in the community it serves where many of the students live under very challenging and disadvantaged circumstances.

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