Teachers and pupils at Masivuke Primary School, in Philippi, blew community members and education officials away with their music and dance moves at the opening of their new state-of-the-art hall on Friday May 12.
After years of struggle, staff could not hide their excitement when the R6.2 million hall was handed over by Myrtle February, chairperson of Garden Cities Archway Foundation, and Thandi Jafta, the Western Cape Education Department’s Circuit 1 manager.
The hall, now a fully functional space for learning, dance and other activities will also be used by the community. On Friday it was packed with parents, as well as past teachers and pupils.
Speakers commended the contribution that organisations like Garden Cities make in poor communities, while education officials and teachers appealed to the donors and community to continue to support under-resourced schools like Masivuke.
School principal Ntshukumo Mbanga said when he applied for the hall back in 2014 and his application failed, he was disappointed but told himself they would not stop. His second application was successful.
“I could not hide my excitement when I was told my application was approved.
“Now that we have a hall, before it even started to operate I got applications from the community to host events. That shows that the community is in dire need of the hall.
“This will create a conducive space for children and the community. This community have already showed interest in the hall. This shows they have the interest of their children at heart,” she said.
The principal said the hall was indicative that donors cared about the poor.
“This will make a real difference. It will inspire hope and a desire to learn. We shall treasure and keep it right,” he said.
Ms Jafta said the school was now responsible for the hall. “They need to look after it. There should be activities in it. We do not want to see keys hanging here day in and day out.
“There should be activities. That is why I say they need to be ready,” she said.
Ms Jafta said the hall would support the growth of the school’s music and dance programmes. “This will be the space for them to learn, perform to have various activities. We are very excited. We hope the community will co-operate with the school to guard and protect the hall,” she concluded.
John Matthew, group chief executive officer of Garden Cities Archway Foundation, said reducing the “shocking shortfall” of school halls was a mammoth task and had a long way to go. He said although the number of of halls handed over to schools had increased substantially, there were still more than 600 needed. He said the foundation welcomed the financial participation from other corporates who had social investment funds to help accelerate the work.