Classrooms and clothing sent to tree school
AT LEAST five mobile classrooms have been delivered at the troubled Selowe Primary School in Silvermine village near Senwabarwana in Limpopo.
The move will come as a relief to pupils and teachers who have been conducting lessons under trees since the beginning of the year.
Since the plight of the pupils was highlighted in the media, several companies have come on board to help the school.
The school had no other facility save for a single shack that was used to teach Grade R pupils. Yesterday the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) donated 170 pairs of school shoes for the pupils.
Hi-Tech, a sports apparel company based in Johannesburg, also donated 165 jerseys and shirts for the pupils. The school will operate as a satellite school for Kgwale Primary School in the nearby village since it has not yet been registered.
The process of registering the school is under way and the department hopes it will be completed in time so that a new school will be built starting next year.
"Approval of the school has already been granted and Selowe Primary School will be established come next January," said department spokesperson Pat Kgomo.
So far the department has promised to deliver desks and chairs to the school, while also brainstorming at the possibilities of making available a feeding scheme for the school's pupils.
The school was established by members of the community to reduce the distance their children had to walk to attend school in two nearby villages.
The school had 14 teachers, including the principal, none of whom were recognised by the provincial department of education.
Only two of the staff had teaching qualifications.
All were working as volunteer teachers and were not being remunerated for their efforts. Concerns have been raised about the future of the volunteers because the department intends bringing in qualified teachers come July 16 when the academic calendar in the province resumes.
Kgomo said they were still determining the number of teachers to be sent to the school "in terms of the population of children".
The department has rejected suggestions that the volunteers should be awarded bursaries to train as teachers given their commitment to the profession.
Kgomo said such a move would set a bad precedent "where people establish illegal schools and then demand that those involved be trained."
Yesterday, Evans Seanego, the self-appointed principal of Selowe, said he was concerned about the future of the two qualified teachers.
"I'm worried that those who have been volunteering with us while in possession of relevant qualifications would be made to sit idle."