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Published: Tuesday, 2012/10/09
A NEW school is to be built in Tafelsig next year.
The school is being constructed as a result of a shortage of educational facilities in the area to accommodate the high volume of pupils requiring placement.
Officials from the provincial education department says 20 mobile units will, as a short-term measure, be housed on the premises of Tafelsig High School until the new school is built.
The announcement was made by the provincial education department minister, Donald Grant.
Millicent Merton, the spokesperson for the provincial education department, says: “The school will comprise of 20 mobile units as an interim measure. The new permanent structure will be built alongside the mobile units.
“The new school at the corners of Spine and AZ Berman Drive will open in January 2013 with a staff establishment to be determined by the head of the education department.”
Tafelsig is in dire need of an additional high school due to the high number of children enrolling for high school, Merton says.
“The existing Tafelsig High School will receive a school hall in recognition of their willingness to cede some of their ground to the new school,” Merton adds.
Achmat Semaar, the administrator for the Mitchell’s Plain Education Forum, says they welcome any initiative to build more schools in Mitchell’s Plain.
“The building of another high school in Tafelsig is absolutely crucial as there is only one high school in the area to serve such a large community.”
Semaar says there is also often a huge backlog of pupils struggling to find placement come the beginning of the academic year.
“Our education district officer informed us that 600 children were still struggling to enrol at a high school in the Mitchell’s Plain education district in January and February this year.”
Grant says the new school forms part of the education department’s three-year plan to build 25 new schools, replace 20 schools and build additional classrooms as well as mobile units across the province by 2013.
Therefore, a new infrastructure plan has been developed for the 2013/14 to 2015/16 year period.
“Tackling the infrastructure backlog is a daunting task. Using the new electronic tool, the Geographic Information System (GIS), for improving infrastructure planning for education in the province, we are better equipped to make informed decisions with regard to, for example, the development of new school infrastructure, the maintenance of existing school infrastructure, as well as the closure or merger of schools,” Grant says.
He explains that the evolving times and needs of pupils need to be taken into consideration so as to not negatively impact pupils.
“We need to be planning and responding better to the changing demands on our education system. With the new GIS and the implementation of this new three-year infrastructure plan we are confident that we have been able to do just that,” Grant adds.