R2m lifeline for Bay school

Zandile Mbabela

NEWELL High School in Port Elizabeth has been thrown a R2- million lifeline which will see the school building refurbished and a fully equipped computer lab and  extra tuition in maths, science and English being provided over three years.

Pupils, teachers and the community watched earlier this week as Transnet National Ports Authority port manager Rajesh Dana, district director Nyathi Ntsiko and principal Cosmo Baartman signed a declaration of the school’s adoption by the transport parastatal.

Ntsiko welcomed the adoption, saying it could not have come at a better time as many people were losing confidence in the Education Department’s ability to effectively deliver on services.

“We are still faced with the socio-economic challenges of more than 17 years ago which we have underestimated all this time,” he said. “We thought that by now all schools would have fully equipped computer labs, libraries and other basic facilities, but that’s not the case.

“Community expectations are such that they’re losing confidence in us and our ability to deliver, and we understand. Now we just need community leaders who are going to embrace such projects and ensure that what is given to the school [by the company] is sustained.”

Baartman thanked the parastatal for the adoption, which he said would help the school realise its vision, namely “We will compete with the best”.

“I pledge and vow that [Transnet’s] investment will not go down the drain and that I will nourish and nurture it as it is the humus and fertiliser to grow our pupils,” he said.

The project will be implemented in two phases – the R2-million infrastructure upgrade and the provision of extra maths and science tuition to pupils.

Dana said the infrastructure upgrade was set to start in the middle of this month and end in August. “This includes the refurbishing of the building and the provision of furniture, science laboratory kits and a fully equipped computer lab. This project goes way beyond a monetary investment as it shows our commitment to education and the future of our pupils,” he said. “We are also committed to creating a long bond with the school and are confident this will be a great success story.”

The second phase will start in January next year.

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