The Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) has not only delivered a state-of-the-art primary school in Berlin, but it also created 38 jobs to community members of Berlin in the Eastern Cape.
The ASIDI programme is an R8.2 billion programme that aims to eradicate schools built from inappropriate material and provide basic services such as water, sanitation and electricity to those schools that never had any.
Nkosinathi Primary School was opened by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) as part of ASIDI.
The school was built for just under R10 million and caters for 379 learners, 89 of whom are in Grade R.
The school was upgraded with an administration block, three new classrooms, a Grade R centre, nutrition centre, media centre, science lab and a multipurpose centre.
The multi-media purpose centre, which serves as both a library and a computer centre, will also be made available for public use.
To date the ASIDI programme has completed 129 schools across the country, with the majority of new schools in the Eastern Cape.
Nkosinathi Primary School was the 61st school handed over in the Eastern Cape.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, the DBE’s ASIDI Project Manager Mtobeli Dintsi said: “The DBE has made improving and upgrading of schools in the Eastern Cape a priority.”
He also added that he was happy to have been part of a team that was making a difference in the community of Berlin and creating a positive attitude for learners towards their education.
“The increase of learners in the school is what motivated the DBE to make a difference, expand and invest in the learners of the school,” adds Dintsi.
Chairperson of the School’s Governing Body Zandile Mnweba said that the school was established in 1994 because there was a need for a primary school in Berlin.
Addressing the learners and parents, Executive Mayor for the Buffalo City Municipality Alfred Mtsi said: “I am impressed with the facilities provided at the school.”
He added that 50 per cent of the national budget goes towards education.
“Government prioritises education as education seeks to not only enrich the mind but have the ability to change any situation,” said Mayor Mtsi.
An excited Nosive Mchenge whose daughter is in Grade 1 said: “I am so excited to have my daughter attend this school because the facilities as well as the dedication of the teachers in this school are of a very high standard.”
She also added that her daughter is being given a great foundation and looks forward to attending school.
Hlumela Tshakatshe, a Grade 7 learner, said that she loves reading and can’t wait to use the new library to read as many books as she can.
She also added that she wants to be a doctor one day and that her teachers at Nkosinathi Primary School are patient and dedicated in helping her achieve her dreams.
As part of the ASIDI programme, the community of Mt Frere also in the Eastern Cape, were the proud recipients of a new state-of-the-art school with the handover of Nqantosi Senior Primary School.
The school’s new modern facilities will ensure that the 250 learners attending the school have access to quality learning and teaching.
The construction of the school provided a boost to the local community also creating 521 jobs over 18 month period.
*Vuyolwethu Hole works at the Buffalo City Municipality and Ryan Hoffman works at the Department of Basic Education.