Relief for Magalies pupils

PUPILS who live around Magaliesburg and travel long distances to school will soon have a boarding house to accommodate them during the week.

PUPILS who live around Magaliesburg and travel long distances to school will soon have a boarding house to accommodate them during the week.

Though the idea is still in its infancy, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane says she is optimistic that the establishment will change the lives of pupils in this area for the better.

"Most children around Magaliesburg have to walk over 5km to school and they face the danger of being abused along the journey.

"Some come from poor homes and leave in the early hours of the morning without having eaten a thing. The idea of the boarding will help, particularly with these challenges," Mokonyane said.

Three sites have been identified where the boarding establishment will be built. Whichever is chosen will have to be central and reachable by transport for all the school children.

The department will have a bus service that will transport pupils to school from Monday to Friday. At the weekend they will be allowed to go home.

Mokonyane said about R120million has been budgeted for the project.

"The money will come from government. Already we spend millions on the school feeding schemes and transport services.

"If we take that money and channel it to this project it will be cost saving and reliable," she said.

Education MEC Barbara Creecy echoed Mokonyane's sentiments.

She said government was still in consultation with the community and relevant stakeholders.

"We have made a proposal to the community and they are happy with the idea. They have given us their input as to where the site should be, as well as how to make it to best suit their needs.

"We will take back the suggestions to the department and a decision will be made," Creecy said.

Mokonyane also pleaded with parents and the community to work with the government in keeping the school safe. She said it was the duty of parents to discipline their children.

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