Start of new era for 'tree school'
ONLY three teachers pitched up for work on the first day of schooling at Selowe Primary School in Silvermine village, Limpopo.
Pupils at the school used to learn under trees since January this year but found a reprieve after a private company donated five mobile classrooms for them.
The school had been operating illegally until the provincial department of education decided to operate it as an off-shoot for Kgwale Primary, a school in the neighbouring village.
The department had promised to deploy six qualified teachers to the new school, but yesterday only three had reported for work.
According to the department, the remaining teachers were still making arrangements to move from their old to the new workplace.
They are expected to start work at the new school today.
Selowe had also been provided with two mobile toilets.
Sowetan yesterday witnessed a ceremony whereby the former teachers, who were working without being paid, handed over the reins to the new teachers.
Four of the new teachers come from Kgwale, one from Seanego Primary School in another neighbouring village while the sixth teacher occupies an ad hoc post.
All six teachers will have to teach 165 pupils in eight grades.
The school caters for pupils in grades R to 7. As for the former teachers, it will be a jobless life for them as the department would have nothing to do with them.
Of the 14 former teachers, only two were in possession of teaching qualifications and the department would not entertain placing them in its system.
Department spokesman Pat Kgomo said yesterday that those with qualifications would get no special treatment.
"We did not recognise those people who assisted the pupils at that school as teachers," said Kgomo.
He said those with qualifications would have to undergo normal processes if they wanted to be employed as teachers.
Evans Seanego, the outgoing principal, said the education of the children at Silvermine village was of paramount importance.
"It is obvious that we are feeling pain but we wish the new teachers the best of luck. But the department must provide the resources in order for Selowe to operate like a normal school," Seanego said.
According to the new principal, Ephraim Raseruthe, the only books available at the school were those given as surplus to Kgwale.
He further made a passionate appeal to the department to provide resources to the school. - firstname.lastname@example.org