Byrone Athman
2 minute read
19 Apr 2021
06:22

Pietermaritzburg woman’s lifetime dedication to educating the deprived

Byrone Athman

Since before starting her very own school in 2006, Mala Singh had already made a commitment to dedicate her life to educating the underprivileged.

Since before starting her very own school in 2006, Mala Singh had already made a commitment to dedicate her life to educating the underprivileged.

She founded the Pietermaritz Primary School after working at a private school for 12 years.

Singh told The Witness her experience working in a private school fuelled her dream to give underprivileged pupils access to quality education.

“Coming from a disadvantaged background and working in a private school made me want to help the underprivileged children in our society even more.

“My heart always yearned to give my children and others a quality education after being exposed to a private school and in 2006 I was finally able to purchase this building on 546 Pietermaritz Street and turn it into a place where pupils could receive an education,” said Singh.

“Here we teach them how to grow these vegetables so that they have the skills to grow their own food and we give our pupils and staff the vegetables from this garden.”
Mala Singh, founder Pietermaritz Primary School

She said when she first started the school she had to go deep into various rural areas where she found children who had not been educated and brought those children to her school. The school now caters for over 200 pupils.

Since beginning her school, Singh has seen her Pietermaritz Primary join the Schools Educational Environmental Programme (Seep) which empowers pupils by teaching them how to grow vegetables and prepare these vegetables for meals.

“All our pupils have access to our garden where we grow cabbages, lettuce, spinach and beans.

“Here we teach them how to grow these vegetables so that they have the skills to grow their own food and we give our pupils and staff the vegetables from this garden,” said Singh.

She said since starting Pietermaritz Primary she has spent over one million rand of her own money towards various projects and initiatives for the school to empower her pupils.