Media Release
Minister of Education Donald Grant
Western Cape

27 September, 2011

Official opening of Klapmuts Primary School

Background details:

Klapmuts Primary School first opened in July 1976. In 2010, the Western Cape Education Department, in partnership with the Independent Development Trust (IDT), began work in replacing the inappropriate structure that was their school for 34 years.

The project cost R27 million, the department contributed R22 million and the IDT R5 million. The school includes 32 classrooms, 2 ablutions blocks a computer facility, library, Early Learning Centre, school hall, and sports facilities. It can facilitate over 1 300 learners.

Statement by Minister Donald Grant, Minister of Education, Western Cape

Executive Mayor Alderman Conrad Sidego
Chairperson of IDT, Mrs Pumla Radebe

District Director Melvyn Caroline
MrRonald Frans - Principal of Klapmuts Primary
Chairperson of the SGB Mr Gordon Wentzel
Members of the SGB
Programme Director
Community Members

Thank you for the kind invitation to be with you on this important occasion.

As we are all aware, today we are celebrating the official opening of this new school.

I am extremely proud of what has been achieved here, in partnership with the Independent Development Trust.

One of this government's main priorities in this province is to improve the physical infrastructure of our schools to ensure that they are more conducive to quality teaching and learning. A large part of this plan is to target schools that have been built, in most instances during the apartheid era, with inappropriate materials such as wood or chipboard. These structures have declined in quality over the years, and it is our aim to replace them with brick and mortar structures.

This is the transformation we see at Klapmuts Primary today. And as I walked through the corridors I was greatly impressed by the look and feel of the school.

As with all new schools, all we can hope for them is that their empty new classrooms are transformed into hubs of teaching and learning, where learners and educators are safe and secure, and where quality learning is taking place.

This is the future I see at Klapmuts Primary.

You now have quality facilities, but are you achieving quality results?

As with all the primary schools I visit, one of the first things I do is to look at the results of the school in the provincial literacy and numeracy tests.

I was pleased to see an increase in your 2010 Grade 3 literacy results as compared to 2008, and I would like to congratulate you for this achievement. However, there is an obvious need for more interventions in terms of numeracy where results declined.

Your Grade 6 results are also of concern, but I am confident that with continued dedication and teamwork we will see improvements in these results.

From the department's side - we will continue to support you in any way we can.

But we also need the support of our parents who play a vital role in improving their child's literacy and numeracy performance. We want our parents to talk to their children about what they read at school each day, what they wrote and what sums they did.

We also want parents to speak to teachers about what they are doing in their school to build these skills, and how they can help their child's teachers.

Parents - please, read to your children every night, or let them read to you. Quiz them on basic maths, such as 'how much change do I have in my purse' or 'how many cups do we have on the shelf.' It is basic and simple things like this that can have a dramatic effect on your child's education.

But enough about academics - what about this fantastic school!

I would like to thank the Independent Development Trust for partnering with the Western Cape Education Department in this initiative. We both share the same vision regarding the eradication of inappropriate and undesirable school structures and we look forward to partnering with you in further future initiatives.

To the school governing body, management and educators of this school - I know that it has taken many years to get to where this school is today. I am extremely pleased that you have now been given the opportunity to manage and teach in an environment that is fully conducive to quality education and learning.

It is clearly evident that this school is being properly maintained and I am pleased to see this.

Too many of our schools are neglected by the very community it serves and I would like to appeal to all the people here today to increase the activity involved around this school. Make it the centre of your community and ensure that it not only remains clean, but is safe from any form of vandalism and theft.

Research has also shown that the greater the family and community involvement in schools, the greater the learners' achievement and the school's success. Your support is vital and we encourage all members of the community to make this school a long-lasting success.

Thank you.

The IDT has provided further information as follows:

Inauguration of Klapmuts primary school by the Minister of Education- Western Cape

The Minister of Education in the Western Cape, Mr Donald Grant will inagurate Klapmuts Primary School in Klapmuts under the Stellenbosch local municipality on the 27 September 2011 at 11h30.

Klapmuts primary school was implemented through the joint partnership between the Department of Education (DoE) in the Western Cape and the Independent Development Trust (IDT), a leading knowledge-based development agency who also fulfilled the role of an implementing agent. The DoE contributed R22 million and the IDT R5 million to make a total of R27 million.

The primary school which is a development hub and catalyst, makes some of the facilities within the school available to the community in an effort to improve the social conditions of the livelihoods of the people, has 28 classrooms for learners, a library and a computer centre that also serves as public library, computer and internet facility for the community after hours. The premise undertaken and the design of the school itself is based on the integrated community development approach hence the school facilities also provide future opportunities of basic adult learning through Adult Basic Education and Training programme (ABET) of the Department of Education.

During construction of the school, the community benefited through work opportunities that were created. As a result, a total of 80 households benefited and over 46 people were able to access work opportunities. In this process, those who were able to access work opportunities were also provided on job training opportunities.

The school prides itself with a number of partnerships to enhance the integrated development notion. This includes provision of musical instruments and teaching instructions by the University of Stellenbosch to enhance the schools music department. In the process, are further engagements to partner for food gardens, trees and landscaping.

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