News / South Africa / Education

Alex Japho Matlala
2 minute read
10 Jan 2019
6:30 am

State-of-the-art Limpopo school opens after 6-year delay

Alex Japho Matlala

School principal Mishack Seale called on parents to bring the children for registration before the deadline at the end of February.

Excited pupils gather at the Mohlabaneng Primary School in the Modjadjiskloof area in the Greater Letaba Municipality in Limpopo, when the school finally opened after six years, 9 January 2019. Picture: Alex Matlala

A state-of-the-art Limpopo school, which has been a white elephant for the past six years, has finally opened its doors for the first time since its completion in 2013.

After it was completed, the department of education said the school had been built at a cost of R35 million and was meant for children from grade one to grade seven from Mohlabaneng and surrounding villages.

But it did not open after the department became involved in a contractual dispute with the service provider, with internal community politics also contributing to the delay.

School furniture and books at Mohlabaneng Primary in the Modjadjiskloof area in the Greater Letaba Municipality were left to rot or were ruined by rain amid a protracted legal battle between the department and the service provider.

This resulted in the multimillion-rand school falling into disrepair and being stripped of furniture, paving bricks and electrical appliances worth millions.

Then prostitutes and criminals moved in. The entrance to the school was littered with used condoms and there was dirty underwear and blood stains in the abandoned classrooms, which locals said had been used by sex workers.

But yesterday parents, teachers and the school governing body (SGB) were celebrating as the school took in its first group of pupils on the first day of the academic year.

“We are on cloud nine here because our dream of opening the school for learning and teaching has finally been realised,” said SGB chairperson Mohale Lebepe. “Our patience and years of pleading with the department to hand over the school to the community has finally paid off.”

Lebepe said the school had a total of nine teachers and 440 pupils on the first day. He said the school was re-equipped with state-of-the-art furniture, ablution facilities and many other facilities that would help teachers and pupils work with ease.

School principal Mishack Seale called on parents to bring the children for registration before the deadline at the end of February.

He said that both textbooks and stationery had been supplied and there would also be a nutrition programme.

Education department spokesperson Sam Makonde said the first day of the academic year went well in all Limpopo’s 3 800 primary and secondary schools.

MEC for education Ishmael Kgetjepe spent most of the day visiting Tshivhase, Tengwe and Mbilwi Secondary Schools in the Vhembe region, which are the province’s three best performing schools.

He said Kgetjepe was also planning to visit the dismally performing schools that need help to improve their results.

alexm@citizen.co.za

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