Carol Oncke stands with her new Grade 3 class at Langebaan Primary School after she was recently appointed thanks to the Hopefield Wind Farm. Picture: LUKE YOUNGE
Cape Town - A primary school in Langebaan in the Western Cape now has three extra teachers after the Hopefield Wind Farm identified the need to reduce classroom overcrowding due to a lack of teachers.

The wind farm granted funds from a special budget to employ three teachers, for a year, for the grade 1, 3 and 7 classes at Langebaan Primary School.

The school’s teacher-to- pupil ratio is 1:60, which is twice the recommended target the Basic Education Department has set out.

Umoya Energy chief executive Ryan Hammond said: “The learner-to-educator ratio is the average number of learners per educator at a specific level of education, and directly affects the children’s ability to learn and generally thrive in a learning environment.”

The school, which accommodates more than 400 pupils from the local community and surrounding towns, became a no-fee school four years ago. Desperate for additional teachers, the school applied to the department, but the application was declined due to limited funds.

“The school relies on fund-raising to pay teachers’ salaries, which puts strain on their administration.

“Umoya is committed to supporting education within our local community, and the funding of salaries of the additional three teachers is indica- tive of our ongoing commitment,” said Hammond.

Umoya Energy-Hopefield Wind Farm previously funded a teacher and classroom assistant at Hopefield Primary School to help reduce overcrowded classes and teacher workload. In addition to this, the wind farm is also often host to local community schools, assisting to supplement the schools’ curriculum and classroom environment.

The wind farm is situated in the Saldanha Bay Municipality, and generates enough electricity to power about 65 000 low-income homes, or 27 000 medium-income homes.

Cape Times