Rural Community Rallies Together to Build Classrooms, Sell Livestock and Use Grant Money

Rural Community Rallies Together to Build Classrooms, Sell Livestock and Use Grant Money

  • One parent who has five children at one school sold goats and contributed R1 500 cash to raise funds to improve the facilities
  • The parents contributed whatever they could afford to ensure their children get an education
  • The school principal lauds parents and asks relevant authorities to complement what the parents have started
  • Most of the parents and guardians who contributed are unemployed and hope that the Department of Education notices their efforts

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By Llyod Dlongolo - Freelance Journalist

Education is often seen as the golden ticket to a better life. That narrative was mirrored into reality by a rural community after they mobilised and built classrooms for their children.

Rural Community Rallies Together to Build Classrooms, Sell Live Stock and Use Grant Money
Left: Principal of Chabasa JSS in the Swazini area of Port St Johns. Right: The classroom built ar Chabasa JSS. Photos: Supplied.
Source: UGC

But just where did they get the funds from?

Troubled by the fact that their children did not have classrooms, parents of students at Chabasa JSS in the Swazini area of Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape looked for solutions. In 2010, Government built three temporary structures to house Grades R to 7. But the structures failed to withstand the test of time.

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Parents then went knocking on the Department of Education's doors with begging bowls. They failed to attract any sympathy. Their desperate pleas for help from Government yielded no results and they literally took matters into their own hands.

Some sold their pricey livestock while others contributed their grant money in its entirety.

It must be noted that most of the parents and guardians from the six villages that feed the school are unemployed and survive by farming, but they did not think twice about contributing to the cause.

Rural Community Rallies Together to Build Classrooms, Sell Live Stock and Use Grant Money
One of the parents, Zingisile Sadula, who contributed to the classroom. Photo: Supplied.
Source: UGC

Their efforts were handsomely rewarded as they managed to build classrooms for the 270 plus learners at the school.

One parent, Zingisile Sadula, knows the struggle is all too real. He has five children at the school and they have in the past complained about their school environment.

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"I contributed R1 500 to the cause. I also sold some goats and contributed again using the money from the sales," said Sadula.
"It really hurt me that the department was dragging it's feet in providing more classrooms for the students. Education is a basic Human Right," added Sadula, who is also the school's governing body deputy chairperson.

Sadula added that there is a nearby school but the safety of his and other children was a priority.

"There is a huge forest and the safety of our children comes first. We hope that the Department of Education sees just how serious we are about our children's education. We want our children to have bright futures and education is a good step in that direction. This school has good teachers and our children get rave reviews when they get to other schools,” he said.

The parents, however, failed to raise enough funds to build the entire school. There is still a sharp shortage when it comes to classrooms. They are not scared of the obstacle ahead. They are now working on plastering the outside of the classrooms.

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Chabasa JSS Principal Sidima Mvumvu reiterated that he had sent several letters to the Department of Education asking for intervention but his efforts had fallen on a rock.

"Teachers have to spend at least 30 minutes in the classrooms so that another teacher can come afterwards. It is not viable or conducive because it details learning. The school needs urgent assistance from the relevant authorities about well as the business community," he said.

Grades 1 and 2, as well as 5 and 6, share rooms in the newly built space, while Grade R occupies the last classroom.

Staff are cramped in one of the temporary structure classrooms with Grade 7 learners.

In the midst of it all, parents have shown and proved that education is the greatest gift they can give their children. even if it means sacrificing their prized livestock.

Parents build classrooms for kids, leave SA inspired and frustrated

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This was not the first time parents had to take matters into their own hands. Briefly News previously reported that parents of the children at Jumba Senior Secondary School in Mthatha took the initiative to build additional classrooms at the school for their kids.

Heading online, a man with the Twitter handle @ghettostyler shared a picture of builders working on the classrooms. In the caption, he explained that the parents of the children who would be using the classrooms decided to build it for them.

Source: Briefly News

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