MEC Lebogang Maile handed over school uniforms and dignity packs to disadvantaged learners in Atteridgeville to mark the first day of the school term yesterday. Thobile Mathonsi African News Agency (ANA)
Pretoria - MEC for Human Settlements, Urban Planning, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Lebogang Maile visited schools in Atteridgeville yesterday and handed over uniforms and dignity packs to the learners.

Maile went to Phelindaba Secondary School, Mabafeng Primary School and Patogeng Primary School as part of the province-wide Back-to-School readiness programme. The uniforms were donated in a partnership with the South African Social Security Agency.

Maths and science learners from Phelindaba presented projects to the MEC, who responded by saying he thought the work they were doing was very important and urged them to continue with the subjects at university.

He also handed out 320 dignity packs, which included sanitary pads, toothpaste, deodorant and other toiletries, to several learners at the school. Maile said this was to ensure children did not stay out of school due to not having basic necessities.

“The future is in your hands. If South Africa wants to compete with the rest and the best of the world, our kids must be educated. We will do our best to make sure there is money available for you to have the resources that you need and so that the school can compete with the best,” he said.

Phelindaba achieved a 90% matric pass rate last year, and Maile congratulated them for the impressive results. He said children who had not passed their matric should explore other opportunities and reminded them that it was not the end of the world.

From Phelindaba, he went to Patogeng, where where he pledged to donate 141 uniforms. Mabafeng will also receive 218 uniforms from the MEC.

Principal Nakedi Thupa said the school had 46 first graders, but the numbers usually increased in February. He said the biggest challenge the school faced was with security as the facility had not been properly fenced for some time.

Maile urged schools to be creative in working with other schools that had facilities; he urged them to use community facilities as well to make sure there were different activities for all children to have the chance to express themselves in whichever way they wanted.

“We are very impressed by the discipline and professionalism the educators have demonstrated it shows why our schools in townships are doing better.

“The gap between the rich and poor schools is fast narrowing and closing down which shows that there is a lot of dedication and commitment by teachers,” he said.

Pretoria News