Schools delighted as MEC drops by
Pretoria - Temba near Hammanskraal was in the spotlight at the weekend when Gauteng MEC for Education Barbara Creecy visited Lefofa and Mosaledi primary schools as part of the department’s Mandela Day celebrations.
“People here feel the events always happen elsewhere. We want them to feel part of the department’s events for Mandela Day,” Creecy said of the decision to visit the schools in Temba.
Pupils, parents and teachers gathered on Saturday to clean up the schools and do maintenance.
With a budget of R1.4 million, which went towards maintenance of the lawns, the electrical systems and plumbing at both schools, a fair amount could be done to revitalise the schools’ facilities.
While the adults devoted their 67 minutes in honour of Mandela to cleaning the school and maintaining the schools, pupils enjoyed a day devoted to sports such as netball, soccer and cricket, and cultural activities such as music and dancing.
Creecy said they had prioritised the Temba area because of complaints that events are never held there.
“We want the community to feel part of the events,” she said.
Creecy was met by almost 100 eager parents, teachers and pupils and the schools’ drum majorettes, and a guard of honour welcomed her to Lefofa Primary School.
“We have been waiting for a long time to have the MEC visit us,” said the school’s vice-principal Dorothy Rantlhwatlhwa.
She said the entire school were excited to meet the MEC.
“As the hosts, we are over the moon. Her presence means a lot to the school, and the community is very happy,” she said.
Rantlhwatlhwa said the MEC’s visit had come at the right time.
“The toilets needed maintenance and it was getting to be horrible. Cleanliness is a large part of proper education,” said Rantlhwatlhwa.
Olerato Komane, 12, said she was excited to celebrate Mandela’s birthday. “He played a big role in liberating us,” she said.
Olerato, who is in Grade 7, said it was worthwhile going to school at the weekend for Mandela Day. “We can do anything for Mandela. We really wished the MEC would come, and she did,” the schoolgirl said.
Rantlhwatlhwa described Mandela as a hero and a brave man. “We will celebrate his birthday while he remains in hospital,” she said.
“Mandela epitomises our vision for a free and democratic South Africa, and we know that education and children have a special place in his heart,” said Creecy. She also pointed out that Mandela had said education could help overcome poverty and a disadvantaged background.
A number of other senior officials and managers from the Gauteng Department of Education were deployed to 60 schools over the weekend to give each school a facelift and assist in cleaning up the school grounds. The entire project is estimated to have cost R10m.
Creecy plans to spend Thursday at Ratanda Secondary School n Heidelberg, which falls under her parliamentary constituency.