Panyaza Lesufi urges: please don't destroy your R105m school in Tsakane
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has urged community members and pupils to protect the newly built Menzi Primary School in Tsakane, Ekurhuleni, from vandals.
"I don't want to find the windows broken and gates stolen at the school," Lesufi told pupils and teachers at the school on Wednesday morning.
Lesufi pointed out that teaching was once done in "shacks" and teachers were therefore urged to also look after the new school.
Lesufi said a R105m investment was used to build the new school.
Pupils stood proudly in their blue school uniforms on the first day of school on Wednesday. While excitement filled the air, some children were not happy that the Christmas holidays had come to an end.
"I want my mommy!" one sobbed while being comforted by a teacher.
Grade 1 teacher Anna Phala, who has taught fore more than 16 years, was overwhelmed with the new building.
"I am so excited to teach Grade 1 this year! Some learners are crying and some are not crying. Now we have the new school and the new building. It is very beautiful. We have been teaching in the zozos [shacks] for a long time and now is our time to benefit," said Phala.
Her new classroom is painted bright yellow. The walls are covered with pictures of animals and the letters of the alphabet. All the desks have the name and surname of the pupil on it.
We at #DID are extremely proud to give learners, teachers and parents of this community 33 Smart Classrooms - Grade R block with 5 classes, Foundation block with 12 classes, Intermediate block with 12 classes and Senior block with 4 classes #MenziPrimary pic.twitter.com/OB1wB13zS5— GPInfrastructure (@GPDID) January 9, 2019
The school's new science classroom is fitted with shiny new taps and basins, while the technology classroom is fitted with a big touch-screen TV, to be used for teaching. Tablets have been placed on desks for the children to use.
Outside, the school now boasts a soccer field and a tennis court. A jungle gym with a sandpit sits outside the Grade R classrooms, while trees have been planted and drinking fountains installed in certain parts of the school.
On Wednesday about 140,000 Grade 1 pupils started their first day of school in the Gauteng state system. A relatively smooth first day was expected, despite a spate of parents applying at the last minute, the department said on Tuesday.
Public schools around the country opened on January 9 2018. While many of the children were very excited for their first day at school, some could not hold back the tears.