Tree school gets State's green light
IT'S official. Selowe Primary School will start operating at Silvermine village when schools reopen for the third term.
This was confirmed during a visit to the village by Limpopo MEC for education Namane Masemola yesterday. Masemola arrived to address the community about the decision that was taken to resolve the impasse that emanated from the village being without a school.
Silvermine village in Senwabarwana has been without a school, resulting in pupils having to walk long distances to neighbouring villages to have education. In January this year, parents decided to establish a school in their village as they feared for the safety of their children.
This was after two girls were nearly raped while walking in the bushes to schools in neighbouring Driekoppies and Kgwale villages.
Though the school was established in Silvermine, it did not have resources to cater for the 165 pupils. The school was not recognised by the department, only the name was with a view to get the school registered first before a proper school could be built next year.
The department had earlier offered to provide scholar transport to take pupils from the village to schools in the neighbouring villages. But parents of the pupils rejected the offer on the grounds that a similar arrangement had failed after the department abruptly terminated the contract of the scholar transport after only three months last year.
Masemola yesterday assured the community that, come July 16, an off-shoot satellite school would start operating in the village.
He said the school, though, would be managed by authorities at Kgwale Primary School from the nearby village.
"We will kick-start the process of providing mobile classrooms to the school so that when the date arrives makeshift facilities are available," Masemola said.
He said they would also move four teachers from Kgwale to Selowe, with one of them acting as principal of the satellite school.
"We are happy that the private sector has also promised to lend a helping hand in terms of building structures for a proper school," he said.
The move will, however, be a bitter pill to swallow for the teachers who had been working on a voluntary basis at the school. They will all be let off because out of the 14 of them, only two are qualified as teachers.
But Evans Seanego, the self-appointed principal of the school, said all they wanted was proof of the school's registration number before they could entertain the department's proposal.
BACKGROUND INFO: The school operating under marula trees
Selowe Primary School in Silvermine village near Senwabarwana (formerly Bochum) was established in January this year.
The school has 165 pupils, 14 teachers - including the principal - and eight "classrooms".
Seven of the classes from Grades 1 to 7 are conducted under trees, while a single shack erected by the community accommodates only Grade R pupils.
Of the 14 teachers, only two have relevant qualifications to teach the children.
Evan Seanego, the school's principal, is only in possession of a Matric certificate. Before taking up the position, he worked as a security guard in Gauteng.
All teachers work on a voluntary basis.
Selowe Primary is without proper infrastructure such as buildings, desks, chairs, textbooks, toilets and water.
Teachers have to carry water in containers to share with pupils. Both pupils and teachers relieve themselves in the bushes.
Pupils' parents clean the school premises in the mornings.
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