Young pupils delighted by spaceship-themed classrooms

Thembeka Lower Primary School principal Vuyelwa Cafu with The African Show Coalition Institute director Bathandwa Kwababa in one of the spaceship-themed classrooms.
BEAM US UP: Thembeka Lower Primary School principal Vuyelwa Cafu with The African Show Coalition Institute director Bathandwa Kwababa in one of the spaceship-themed classrooms.
Image: BHONGO JACOB

Pupils' faces at Thembeka Lower Primary School in Mdantsane lit up when they walked into their old classrooms and discovered they'd been transformed into a spaceship and a scene from under the ocean.

DispatchLIVE was present when the work of The African Show Coalition Institute (Tasci) was revealed on Monday.

Tasci director Bathandwa Kwababa said they were on a mission to revamp 108 schools in Mdantsane.

She said an in-depth pilot programme in 2017 had helped identify classrooms in need of imaginative makeovers. The classrooms are in rural and township schools.

The study was funded by the National Lotteries Commission.

She said: “The research into the 108 schools revealed that schools had ageing infrastructure, lack of modern teaching tools, an absence of psychosocial services, no libraries and declining morale among educators, pupils and parents.”

“Tasci intends to create warm, relevant, and stimulating classrooms for effective learning.”

The organisation revamped three classrooms at Thembeka with funds from Investec employees last week. Kwababa said 18 parents and community members assisted with painting the classrooms.

“We are starting with the foundation grades so that we can make their classes conducive to learning. Neglecting children at the foundation phase later gives problems when they reach the higher grades, so it is important to enhance learning capabilities at a young age.”

She urged parents to mobilise greater citizen support in schools.

“We want the parents to take the initiative and become the watchdogs of the schools in our communities. This involves parents and teachers. It is everyone’s responsibility to make sure our schools are working efficiently,” she said.

“Lack of jobs affects people and they (the unemployed) end up vandalising our schools. Schools need to be positioned in such a way that they have the element of reviving economic drive in communities.”

She said the programme would run for the next 12 years. “In 2031 all rural and township schools should also have quality education.”

Thembeka former pupil and (current) principal Vuyelwa Cafu said the school formed in 1974 faced a number of hurdles.

“We could not maintain our classes at acceptable standards for our foundation phase. We are fortunate to receive this kind of help from Tasci because this will make us like other schools. The children walked into totally changed classrooms today and they were so happy.”

She said the initiative would have a positive effect on pupils.

“This will make children have an interest in education. The teachers will also be motivated This has motivated parents to get involved with the operation of the schools. They can now see that there are changes.”

bhongoj@tisoblackstar.co.za


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