Adopt-a-School Foundation officially handed over a newly built Grade R facility at Mbonisweni Primary School in Hambanati, Tongaat, KwaZulu-Natal on 9 Feburary 2013. The facilitiy was donated by Shanduka Group.
Shanduka Group adopted the school through its Adopt-a-School Foundation, which mobilises companies and individuals to invest in schools in need. Nearly 170 schools are currently under the adoption programme. This is the second school that Shanduka Group has itself adopted. The group also supports the Olifantsvlei Primary School in Eikenhof, south of Johannesburg.
The Grade R facility at Mbonisweni Primary School has been built for 150 foundation level pupils and has been equipped with classrooms, restrooms and a cooking area. Training in teaching and early childhood development has been provided to five Grade R educators at the school.
The facility was handed over to the school by Shanduka Group Executive Chairman Cyril Ramaphosa together with Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga and KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Education Senzo Mchunu. Also in attendance were the MEC for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Development Meshack Hadebe, MEC for Health Sibongiseni Dhlomo and eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo.
The Department of Agriculture supports the Zisizeni Cooperative, a group of enterprising women who run a vegetable growing project at the school.
Government’s Grade R programme has grown from around 300000 children in 2003 to about 800 000 children nationwide, and is one of its biggest achievements. It continues to provide a firm grounding for children, preparing them for a successful school career.
“Grade R is the foundation phase of any learner. To address the challenges our children face at this critical phase of their academic development, we have partnered with Mbonisweni Primary School to ensure that these children receive the education and care that they deserve,” says Shanduka Group CEO Phuti Mahanyele.
The Foundation’s approach to adopting a school is to implement a whole school development programme to not only improve the academic environment; but also the infrastructural, social and security environment in schools. It also ensures that the schools have the necessary management and community leadership to support an environment that is conducive to teaching and learning.
Mbonisweni Primary School Principal, Mrs Ziphiwo Mahlobo, commented: “Being adopted by the Shanduka Group is a true blessing to our young learners. The up-skilling of our teachers means our children will be able to learn the fundamentals necessary for the successful completion of their academic career.”
Before any programme is implemented, the Foundation facilitates advocacy meetings with all relevant stakeholders, including the Department of Basic Education, School Governing Body and service providers. Joint objectives and targets are developed and the commitment and cooperation of all stakeholders is achieved.
The facility upgrade has brought much-needed job opportunities for both skilled and unskilled personnel from the surrounding community. The personnel were sourced with the help of the SGB, using the school’s database. Nine small local businesses were also involved in the building project providing carpentry, tiling and hardware services.