ZUMA TO CELEBRATE WORLD TEACHERS DAY IN MBIZANA
By: Rumana Akoob
President Jacob Zuma will celebrate World Teachers Day by re-opening and handing over Ethridge Junior Secondary School to the Mbizana community.
It will be handed over during a ceremony on Saturday, 5 October. The project was facilitated by the Department of Mineral Resources and the school was built by Anglo American Platinum.
This was part of compliance with the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act’s Social and Labour Plan.
The school, which is in the Eastern Cape, was identified as one of the projects that would contribute towards rural development in one of the labour sending areas in the province.
Spokesperson for the presidency, Mac Maharaj said that the school was chosen because of its historical nature as well as location.
“The school is set up in a highly depressed area and it was chosen so our children can have a future there,” Maharaj said.
The plan was first part of the Social and Labour Plan commitments of Anglo American Platinum and commissioned in November 2011. It has since been fast-tracked as part of the efforts to implement the commitments entered into by government and social partners in the High Level Dialogue on the Economy convened.
The project of the school directly counters with commitments in the Presidential Package for the expansion of a new partnership between social partners for the development of sustainable human settlements in mining towns, high labour areas and all communities.
The project cost the total of over R45 million. The school has state of the art facilities including eighteen class rooms, a sports ground, a computer laboratory, a science laboratory, and a library.
It also includes a Lilliput Sewer Treatment Plant which processes sewerage and releases grey water for irrigation, a borehole and chlorination providing the learners with portable water. As part of the Phase 2 of the project, a community hall will be constructed.
The school was first established in the nineteenth century by the Anglican Church missionaries. The school had dilapidated with time as the old infrastructure was not maintained and a lack of adequate equipment to provide a good enabling learning environment.
The recently constructed school will allow 1000 pupils through its doors from Grade R to Grade 9.