New school in Mamelodi to reduce overcrowding, ensure learning

Monday, February 2, 2009

Pretoria - The burden of overcrowded classrooms will be eased in Mamelodi, with the building of a new school for the community.

ArcelorMittal South Africa and the Department of Education have partnered to build 10 new schools throughout the country.

Speaking during the sod-turning ceremony of the new school on Monday, Education Minister Naledi Pandor said every learner was entitled to proper education in an environment which was not overcrowded.

"We cannot expect our educators to teach optimally and our learners to learn optimally in an environment that is not conducive to teaching and learning," she said.

She said her department had committed to improving the quality of education through the delivery of adequate infrastructure.

"There can be no debate that our country still requires increased investment in school infrastructure, both to satisfy the right to basic education as well as to improve the quality of learning and learning outcomes," Minister Pandor said.

The minister further appealed to the private sector to partner with government to help reduce backlogs.

"Given the backlogs and the challenges that confront us, it is clear that government cannot do it alone without assistance from the private sector.

"The role and participation of the private sector is critical to the success of our quest to provide resources to our schools," the minister said.

ArcelorMittal Chief Executive Officer Nku Nyembezi-Heita said: "We recognise that government alone cannot tackle this enormous backlog.

"We also believe that this is the area of social development which if addressed correctly, will have the biggest impact in improving the economic wellbeing of the majority of South Africans."

The school, which is set to be completed by year end, will consist of laboratories and a library, among other things.

The remaining nine schools, one school scheduled for each province and two in the Eastern Cape, will be built over the next seven years depending on guidelines provided by the department and economic circumstances.