Phaphamani Primary School – still going strong!

It has been two years since the Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Ms Candith Mashego Dlamini, officially opened the Phaphamani Primary School, situated in the KwaNgema Village and to date, the school is flourishing.

On Monday, 28 January, Deputy Director of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform’s Communication Services, Ms Zithini Dlamini, contacted the Excelsior News to express her satisfaction with the enormous growth that the Phaphamani Primary School has shown since its inception on 6 June 2016.

She stated that the Phaphamani Primary School had no proper infrastructure before the department intervened and that learners were accommodated in prefabricated structures and shacks which posed a danger, especially as the KwaNgema area is known for severe weather conditions, such as hailstorms and strong winds.

The former Phaphamani Primary School building was demolished during a storm in 2008 and during the December holidays of 2018, a hailstorm hit the area and the new building’s bathroom roof was partially blown off. Luckily the SGB (School Governing Body) quickly intervened and with the help of staff members, the necessary repairs were done before damage was caused to the ceiling as well.

The department spent about R19 million to build the new facilities and two years later, it is evident that the school is being kept in an excellent condition. However, even though the buildings are very modern, they still have to make use of dilapidated furniture and since 2005, they have been using the same desks and chairs, which are now a huge eyesore compared to the building.

Phaphamani Primary School is a Section 21 school, which means it is a no-school fee school. Some disadvantaged learners often require school uniforms and many of them reside very far from the school, with no scholar transport available, yet they stay positive and attend school regularly.

The school boasts with an average pass rate of 85% and the educators continue to influence the children in a positive manner. To use an example, Luyanda Nkosi, is a grade 4-learner with albinism. He often struggles to see and out of goodwill, his teacher, Ms Mayisela, bought him a pair of spectacles.

This is what caring for one another means! This school does not only host children from the immediate surrounding areas but also children from neighbouring communities. Almost 300 households have their children enrolled at this school and some educators’ children are also attending the school.

The department is very pleased to see how the SGB, teachers and administrative staff take care of the school and its learners. It is heartwarming to know that they grow from strength to strength, even in difficult circumstances or with very little funding – they are thriving!

Qedela Secondary School severly damaged

The school building of Qedela Senior Secondary School, situated in Saul Mkhizeville, was left with a huge amount of destruction after a storm hit the area during December 2018.

On Sunday, 23 December, a thunderstorm with gale force winds, heavy rainfall and hail, struck the area close to Heyshope dam and as a result of the storm, Qedela’s building was damaged. Windows were broken and some of the classroom doors were also damaged.

Beauty Grootboom, of the Beauty Grootboom Foundation, paid the school a visit on Monday, 21 January, to see if she could be of any assistance in helping them to repair some of the extensive damage caused.

She managed to find some donors who sponsored glass to repair the windows, but there is still a lot of work to be done to get the school back into tip-top condition so that the learners can attend their classes without any danger.

The Excelsior News spoke to the school’s principal, Ms D.D. Nkosi, on Monday, 28 January, and she stated that there are still some windows that need to be replaced as well as classroom doors that are damaged beyond repair.

Beauty would like to thank the sponsors for their generosity towards this project thus far.