Learners from Thekwane South, Mpumalanga, no longer have to travel long distances to access educations. For years learners did not have a school in their area and had to attend schools in neighbouring areas. Learners now have access to a brand new school, the Portia Shabangu Secondary School.
The school, which cost the provincial Department of Education about R45 million to build, can accommodate up to 1 200 learners, has 28 classrooms, an administration block, well-equipped laboratory, library, computer centre, kitchen, 40 toilets and a hall.
MEC for Education in Mpumalanga's Reginah Mhaule said the new school was an indication that government cares for the community and values education.
“We thank the provincial government for considering our concerns. Learners will no longer walk long distances and be exposed to harsh weather conditions.”
MEC Mhaule said the school was fully equipped for it to produce the desired results.
“We expect this school to produce a 100 percent pass rate for Grade 12. This will be an indication that learners, parents and teachers really appreciate it.”
Bongi Ngwenya, the school’s principal, said the response from the community had been positive.
“Parents that visit the school are very happy that their children no longer have to walk long distances to neighbouring schools. Other children had to commute via public transport. The new school will enable parents to save on transport costs.”
Ngwenya added that the school currently has 360 learners, but expects the number to grow.
MEC Mhaule appealed to parents to ensure that every member of the community makes an effort to ensure that all children of school-going age attend school every day.
“I would like to urge community members to work with the Department of Education to ensure that learners do not drop out of school,” said MEC Mhaule.
“All parents are requested to heed the call for compulsory education and also ensure a conducive environment for children to do their school work and study at home.”
MEC Mhaule urged the community to ensure that the furniture and property of the school is protected from vandalism and theft.