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Address at the launch of Banareng Primary School Nutrition Centre in Attridgeville, 5 June 2005, Minister Naledi Pandor speeches

 

Address by the Minister of Education, Mrs Naledi Pandor, MP, at the launch of the Banareng Primary School Nutrition Centre in Attridgeville

5 June 2005

Director of Ceremonies
Crane representatives
The principal of Banareng primary
The chairperson and members of the school governing body
Members of the community – parents and children

The significance of this event is two fold. On the one hand, we come to celebrate the opening of a school nutrition centre – a tangible demonstration of our commitment to provide proper nutrition to all those children who need it. With this nutrition centre, these children, and children from surrounding schools, will not be getting a piece of bread with peanut butter. Here we have the facilities for a nutritious, hot meal. And since this may be for many the only real meal of the day, I urge the school to ensure it is used to maximum advantage.

Of course, I have every confidence in this schools and its leadership. The governors and management of this school deserve a huge vote of thanks for what they are doing. We are trying to get schools to maintain food gardens; but Banareng Primary goes one step further and has a herb garden, so that the food is not only good but tasty as well! I must compliment the principal, Mrs Sithole, the staff of Banareng Primary, and indeed the community as a whole, who have clearly taken ownership of this school and turned it into a shining light in the area.

We are as delighted as you are to be opening this nutrition centre, and trust that you will similarly take care of it and ensure it is well used to your benefit.
But there is another reason we have come together today, and that is to celebrate the use of new approaches to the building of school facilities. I am informed that this nutrition centre arrived at the school in a big container just two weeks ago, and here today we are already seeing it in use. I am told also that a team of workers, who had no prior experience of this approach to building, constructed the centre, and they have now learnt the skills needed for the next one.

This must be something we must consider in facing up to the challenges of improving our school infrastructure. Buildings that may have taken up to a year to build by conventional methods, can now be constructed within a month, with no loss of quality, as I am sure you will agree this building demonstrates. We must not think of these as temporary “prefabs” – to be replaced once the real classrooms are built. These are real buildings, which will last at least as long as the brick and mortar classrooms we are used to. If every province was to have a stock of “classroom blocks” ready in containers, we could respond much more readily to needs, and especially to the demands of sudden pupil migration.

I therefore want to thank the Crane Group most sincerely – firstly for the donation of the nutrition centre, which will be much appreciated by the children of this community. But I want to thank them also for showcasing the new construction technologies, common in the rest of the world but under-used here in South Africa, to which we must remain open in our efforts to address the infrastructure backlogs in education.

I therefore have great pleasure in declaring the nutrition centre open, which I believe the community should name at some stage, and I invite you all to enjoy some of its products.

Thank you.

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Written By: Administrator Account
Date Posted: 6/30/2008
Number of Views: 597

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