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As the schools reopened on a rainy Tuesday morning of 12 January 2022, Gauteng Premier David Makhura had assigned members of his Executive Committee to travel and assess the readiness in schools across the province. Economic Development, Agriculture, Environment and Rural Development, MEC Parks Tau accompanied by officials from his office as well as the Education department visited schools and an ECD centre in the Roodepoort vicinity. The visit underscores the interventions by the government to respond to the current socio-economic challenges in Gauteng schools.
Speaking at the Durban Deep primary school, Department spokesperson, Loyiso Jantjies mentioned that “the visit kick-starts the provincial government’s program to assess if all the resources needed to run the schools effectively are in place. These include learning materials as well as covid compliance provisions ensuring that schooling resumes without any hindrances. We lost a lot of time as a result of Covid 19 during 2020 therefore the government is trying to put measures in place to avoid the repeat of such.” He added.
Learners received packs as the MEC conducted the symbolic planting of a tree at the back of the school yard with the school Principal Ivan Mosomi accompanied by the ward councillor Keke Tabane and Chief Director of Agriculture Mncedisi Madolo as an initiative to the greening the school premises. Delegates observed a portion of land been dedicated as a food garden area where members of the community received micro-farming training from the Gauteng Department of Agriculture. MEC Tau also handed seedlings and gardening tools to the school. Juxtaposed to it is the state of the art theme play park erected at the school.
The MEC thereafter paid a visit to the Christian Day care centre in Matholeville where he received a needs assessment report, that will enable the department to facilitate interventions to alleviate the Early Development Centre’s challenges.
Finally, the delegates arrived at Princes High school where they met with circuit 4 district officials overseeing the proceedings of the school walkabouts. Ushered in by compère and Education District official Joseph Pheto, School Principal Barbara Mahlangu mentioned in her speech that the school which capacitates 1484 student roll with 46 educators was covid ready, and that the student supplies had been delivered as scheduled.
Amongst the many pointers, she also mentioned discipline has been maintained in the school. Of concern was the mugging experienced by learners in the Roodepoort vicinity on their daily walk to school. But seeing the light, Princess residents are committed to protecting the school from vandals. MEC Tau and team observed the ageing facilities for the technical workshops that need to be revived so as to empower learners with the various crucial skills. Deputy Principal Elias Coetzee mentioned that the school is one of the few that offers Technical programs such as Electrical Technology and EGD.
The MEC commended the efforts of management to improve learner outcomes of which as a result ascended the local district office to a 2nd ranking nationally. He also acknowledged the school’s determination and thriving through various academic challenges especially the pandemic. Addressing the grade 12 learners, he made mention that it is their discipline and efforts to obtain good results, thereafter making a positive impact in an ever changing society that finds itself on constant developments of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Jerry Sokhupe Soweto Sunrise News