To usher in the school year ahead, MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko visited three schools and a creche in Kwa-Thema, Ekurhuleni on 15 January 2020. The MEC visited Phulong Secondary School, Thembalikazulu Primary School, Fred Habedi Primary School and the Tshepo Lesedi Creche as part of GPG’s Annual Back-to-School Campaign aimed at assessing the state of learning and teaching on the first day of the academic year.

The MEC kicked off the programme by joining the Phulong Secondary School staff and pupils at their morning assembly, where she encouraged learners to strive to be the best they can be, despite their background and circumstances.

“We understand that some of you come from very difficult situations, our role as government is to make your schooling as easy as possible. Your background does not determine your future. As I speak to you, I am standing before greatness, I see lawyers, doctors and great leaders in you,” she said.

She proceeded to the remaining schools to oversee the first school day’s proceedings and provide learners with Learning and Teaching Support Material (LTSM).

To encourage the learners on their first day of school the MEC distributed 100 school shoes to disadvantaged learners among the three schools, she further planted a tree in each school as a symbol of future growth.

With all schools located in the Springs township, a predominantly disadvantaged area, the schools presented various challenges they would like the government to assist with.

Thembalikazulu Primary School Principal Mr Tsotetsi indicated that the structure of the school is in need of improvements, with their biggest challenge being the maintenance of the school yard.

The MEC emphasized the importance of a proper school infrastructure saying that it is a crucial element of the learning environment. She committed to keep in contact with the schools to ensure their challenges are properly dealt with.

To wrap up the days’ activities the MEC hosted an Education Stakeholder Engagement at Kwa-Thema Community Hall where community members got the chance to voice their concerns pertaining to schools in the area.

Some of the issues raised included, non-registration of learners, school registration system not ideal for parents and Crime and drug abuse.

The MEC noted all the challenges and committed to do her best to address them in this financial year.

Source: Gauteng Province