The prevalence of teacher migration from rural to urban or the so called “best resourced schools” will soon be a thing of the past. This is as a result of new state of the art institutions being delivered though the Accelerated School Infrastructure Development Initiative (ASIDI), which seeks to eradicate schools built, in their entirety, from inappropriate materials throughout the country.
The Executive Mayor of the Chris Hani Municipality, Councillor Mr Mxolosi Koyo, officially handed over Philemon Inkwekwezi Junior Secondary School to the Tsomo community on 31 July 2015. Built at a cost of R18, 2 million, the new school is part of the of 116 ASIDI schools completed and delivered to various communities across the country to date: 87 in the Eastern Cape, 15 in the Western Cape, six in the Free State, four in Mpumalanga, two in Limpopo and one in the Northern Cape. An important mandate of the programme is the delivery of basic services to schools that previously had none. Over and above the 116 schools completed, the ASIDI project has also provided 499 schools with water, 425 with sanitation and 289 with electricity.
The new school offers facilities such as a computer lab, 7 classrooms, a staff room, principal’s offices, a multimedia centre, a physical science lab, a kitchen, Grade R centre and decent sanitation. ASIDI is helping to restore dignity to rural education and a sense of pride to communities.
Teachers from Philemon Nkwekwezi Junior Secondary School expressed their delight and said that the new school offers teaching in an environment that is conducive to learning. “We thank the Department of Basic Education for the intervention; I am thrilled to announce that since the new school has been built, the learner enrolment has increased rapidly,” remarked the Mathematics and Physical Science teacher, Ms Phumla Sigwili.
“Owing to the new classrooms and furniture, attendance is 100% as learners are motivated to come to school every day. I am also glad that the issue of Information Communication Technology (ICT) has been taken into consideration. The provision of 50 tablets in this school will make learning and teaching even more exciting, Ms Phumla Sigwili added.
Natural Science teacher, Mr Xola Ginya, said that leaving the ASIDI schools for urban schools would no longer be a consideration. “The new schools have high quality resources that are also in line with the demand of the world of technology,” concluded Mr Ginya.