SITTING precariously in their tiny seats, the Grade 2 pupils at Buyani Primary School in the informal township of Finetown, south of Johannesburg, are oblivious to the threat of closure their institution faces.
The youngsters, unaware of the drama placing their school in danger of being closed down, carry on with their daily grind in a school that provides them with opportunities and facilities the government has failed to supply.
The ominous threat of closure looming over the school is due to the seeming reluctance of the City of Johannesburg to grant the Buyani Trust the title deed to the land they have occupied for almost two decades and in the process jeopardising their stream of funding.
Buyani is one of a few programmes run by the Buyani Trust, which is an association comprising mainly members from in and around the community of Finetown. They contribute to the educational and social upliftment of this underdeveloped area.
To people like Rose Malanga, who has been with the school since 1992, teaching literacy, numeracy and life-skills, the school means everything as it is not just a means of making a living but a source of fulfillment.
She lives in the equally squalid Vlakfontein informal settlement bordering Finetown.
Were it not for the school, Malanga would probably have been unemployed like many others in the area.
"This area is very poor. There is a desperate need for a place like this school because we not only assist the youngsters but their parents as well," Malanga says
There are 667 children in the school, from grades R to six, who receive a meal every day through the school's feeding scheme. For most, this is the only meal of the day.
The private primary school also gets a grant from the Gauteng department of education.