President Jacob Zuma unve i led the newl y refurbished Kensington High School in Cape Town recently as part of government’s Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) and the National Infrastructure Plan.
“Education is our apex priority as a country because we believe… it is the key to changing circumstances and changing the quality of life.
“I am very happy also to see that you are happy because you are in an environment that makes you proud and therefore prepares you to be better citizens tomorrow,” he told learners.
The President added that the school was an example of what could be achieved when national and provincial government came together to provide services.
“This is what we want to see throughout the country,” he said.
The President, who was welcomed by the school’s principal Trevor Jacobs, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, Deputy Minister of Basic Education Enver Surty, Western Cape MEC Debbie Schäfer and Premier Helen Zille, was shown the school’s upgraded facilities and classrooms.
In the Grade 12 physical science class, Sesethu Kedama, 17, introduced her classmates to the President.
A light moment followed after the President asked what the class was working on. Sesethu paused, smiled and pointed to the chalkboard, showing the President a formula they were working on.
The school was first established in 1934 under the name Kensington Central and was located along Kensington Road in Maitland. At the time, the school accommodated Grades 4 – 8.
As the need for secondary education increased in the area, more classrooms were built and this led to the establishment of Kensington High School in 1951.
In 1974, the school moved from Maitland to a prefabricated building and its current location.
The school’s principal said he was happy that after the school was in an inadequate structure for many years, they have finally moved into a new school.
Over and above the science labs, the school also boasts two computer rooms equipped with uncapped ADSL.
As part of the ASIDI initiative, the department has so far handed over 49 schools in the Eastern Cape between 17 July last year and August this year.
This was the second school that was opened in the province.
Deputy Minister Surty also unveiled a newly refurbished Die Duine Primary school in Lotus River recently.
As part of ASIDI in the province, the department will hand over 14 schools in the first phase, followed by another 11 schools.
The President said every child had the right to be educated, as highlighted in the Constitution and the Freedom Charter, and that the opening of the school showed the significance of the two very important documents.
“The official hand over of this state-of-theart school is living proof that we are on course to deliver to the people of the Republic. Our children should be taught in decent schools.
Our teachers should teach in decent schools. “It is for this reason that we have embarked on this programme to eradicate mud and plankie (wooden) schools,” he said.
President Zuma added that as part of the ASIDI programme, schools that previously lacked basic services had been attended and that over 200 schools had been given access to water, electricity and sanitation services recently.
The President also urged learners and teachers to respect the school’s infrastructure, adopt a culture of learning by starting classes on time and embracing a culture of reading.