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Laying foundations for better learning

Written by Gabi Khumalo
The Western Cape provincial government is building new schools, upgrading existing ones and adding classrooms to others as part of its commitment to ensure quality teaching and learning.

Twenty-five new schools and hundreds of additional classrooms will be built in the Western Cape over the next three years as part of wiping out the backlog in schools infrastructure in the province.

Safer buildings

The Western Cape Department of Education will replace unsafe and unsuitable school buildings with stronger structures. Twenty schools in the province that were built with unsuitable materials are set to be replaced with brick and cement structures within three years.

The new plan focuses on schools where there has been a drop in the quality of infrastructure over a long period of time. In most cases, these buildings were built during the apartheid era, using wood or chipboard materials.

Good progress

Education MEC Donald Grant, who recently inspected the construction work that is underway to replace the old Oaklands High School in the Lansdowne/Kenwyn area of Cape Town, , said he was happy with the progress on the site. With the new building, more learners will now have a chance to learn in suitable and safe environments.

The replacement of a 57-year old wooden building at Oaklands High started in February last year and is expected to be over by the end of this year. An amount of R29,5 million has been set aside for the building.

Moveable classes

The building includes 27 classrooms, two computer rooms, a library, a new assembly hall and new administrative building, as well as new staff and visitor parking, five laboratories and additional sports facilities to be built on the old school’s site once the building work is done.

Where necessary, moveable classes will be used to accommodate learners during the building process.

Other schools, which are currently under construction include Masibambane High School, Thembalethu, MM Mateza, Plantation, Enshona, Fairview and Cloetesville Primary Schools.