Education MEC Tate Makgoe has expressed confidence that learning facilities erected at 11 QwaQwa schools courtesy of development agency Kagiso Trust are an investment that will change the lives of rural learners for the better.
Makgoe said this at the official handing over of new fully equipped science laboratories, computer centres and libraries to 11 schools in Maluti-A-Phofung a fortnight ago.
The construction of the facilities was partially financed by Kagiso Trust, an agency that works to overcome poverty by creating and implementing sustainable development programmes in the areas of education, capacity building, socio-economic development, fundraising and investment and through special projects.
The organisation has over the past 30 years invested over R2-billion in development and implemented over 1,831 programmes.
Makgoe enthused that there had been a notable change in the fortunes of rural schools since the education department’s partnership with Kagiso Trust began seven years ago; this includes Thabo Mofutsanyane district becoming the best performing rural district in the entire country.
“The construction of science, computer laboratories and libraries is an intervention that levels the playing field between rural and urban schools. They prepare learners for both university and the workplace. Since the advent of computer laboratories in primary schools three years ago, the confidence of learners has improved tremendously.”
At the same occasion, Kagiso Trust chairperson Dean Zwo Nevhutalu attributed the success of Kagiso’s interventions in the Free State to the commitment and dedication of the province.
“We started our programmes of empowering in public schools in 2007 and Free State only joined in 2009. Yet we have seen Thabo Mofutsanayana becoming the top performing district in Free State. This is because the provincial government shares the same vision, commitment and passion for education as Kagiso trust.”
On behalf of the beneficiary schools, Diepele Molefe said: “We are overwhelmed by this gesture.
This is going to improve the performance of our learners and they will now be even more confident when they enter into higher education and the job market because they will be armed with the requisite skills and experience. Our learners and teachers are raring to go; the staff of Kagiso Trust have trained our teachers.”
A member of one of the school governing bodies Ntediseng Mohale pledged parents’ support to the schools’ endeavours to ensure the safety of the facilities.
“It is our responsibility to take care of these facilities and ensure they serve their purpose of equipping our children with enough skills.”
The schools that benefited are Masopha Secondary, Tseseng primary, Sekgompepe, Hlajoane, Selebalo, Shoeshoe primary, Ntemohiseng primary, Witshoeck and Letlotlo primary schools. The secondary schools that benefited are Lesaoana, Namoha and Sentinel.