Cape Town - Every child at Disa Primary School – said to be a state-of-the-art “green” school – has the prospect of a better life and a better future for their families, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said at the official opening of the school in Imizamo Yethu on Saturday.
Designed and built in partnership with the Streungmann Foundation and the City of Cape Town, Disa Primary is surrounded by a forest.
It boasts a wetland, as well as a sports field, a playground and an indoor eating area where the children will be served breakfast and lunch.
In a speech, made predominantly in Xhosa, a visibly excited Zille paid tribute to funders Andreas and Susan Streungmann of the Streungmann Foundation, describing them as “heaven-sent”.
“This is the most modern school in the whole of Africa. If it wasn’t for you, this would not have happened.
“This is a model project, and it’s all for the children. This is a joyous occasion, but we must always think of the children who don’t have these opportunities. We will work every single day to make these opportunities possible for more and more of our children,” she said.
The opening, which included a fun day, was also attended by Education MEC Donald Grant, as well as the school’s pupils and their parents.
The school opened its doors in January and has 270 pupils in Grades R, 1 and 2.
As it grows, the aim is for it to accommodate about 750 pupils from Grades 1 to 7, according to principal Gerda van der Westhuizen.
“We’re going to fill the school from the bottom. The aim is to have a real influence on the children from a very young age. Each year, additional Grade R pupils will be enrolled, and other grades will be filled as the older pupils move to the next grade,” she explained.
Andreas Streungmann said at Saturday’s opening that it was an honour to have been part of the occasion.
“We have three promises. To Gerda and her team, we promise to support you in every aspect to make the school excellent. To the parents, we promise to give your children a platform, through better education, to better their lives. To the pupils, we promise to educate you as best we can to get you into the best high schools in Cape Town,” he said, urging them to work hard to achieve their goals.
Pupils from every grade at the school presented the Streungmanns with gifts.
Parents had only good things to say about Disa Primary.
Parent Busiswa Ngalwa said she had seen a big improvement in her eight-year-old son Liyema since he started
“He was at a school in the rural areas [in the Eastern Cape]. He didn’t know anything. Now he can speak English, count, read, and spell,” she said.
Lucas Olavi, father of Zanozuko Siswana, said he liked the way the staff treated the pupils.
“I think they’re getting the best of the best. They even help us. Sometimes we can’t help our children with their homework and they have parent workshops for that,” he said.
Another parent, Tracy Mabohlo, said she never worried when her daughter Anovuyo was at school.
“It’s safe here and they have everything the children need. I’m free at heart.
“I wish the school had higher grades so that Anovuyo never has to leave,” she said. - Weekend Argus