Minister Donald Grant
Western Cape Minister of Education
I am delighted to announce that a decision has been made regarding the future temporary satellite school site in Grabouw.
Since January, we have been investigating the possibility of three sites in the Grabouw area. Before we could proceed with construction on any of these new sites, we had to overcome some unique challenges. For instance, the first site needed to undergo a lengthy Environmental Impact Assessment, the second site needed the approval of various roleplayers and the third needed to be ratified through a municipal council vote.
Since last week, all three sites have been confirmed as available. A decision then had to be made on which of the three sites would be the most suitable for the temporary mobile school. In order to make this process as fair and open as possible, the department then engaged in a series of consultations with the Grabouw community to make its final decision on the location of the temporary satellite school.
After consulting the community, the department has decided to proceed with construction on not one, but on two of the sites available – the piece of land adjacent to the sports fields, as well as the land leased to us from the Theewaterskloof Municipality.
The reason for the decision to build two temporary mobiles schools is twofold.
Firstly, having two options available for construction will mean that we will be able to double our efforts in ensuring that we have a new temporary school available for the third term. The land on each site still needs to be graded and there is no guarantee that we will not run into further challenges. Therefore we will at least be able to proceed with the site that looks more promising after the initial groundworks have been completed.
Secondly, our ultimate goal is to build a new permanent school. Having a second site available will allow us to prepare for the construction phase of this new school. The second site will comfortably house learners that need to be relocated while the construction phase of the permanent school is underway. It also prepares us for any eventuality that might arise next year.
The community is pleased with, and has accepted, this plan. The Department of Public Works has been informed of our decision and groundwork on the two sites is expected to begin this week.
In the interim, we will continue to proceed with our catch-up programmes at both Umyezo Wama Apile Combined school and at the CTLI. The first week of teaching and learning at the CTLI has gone smoothly, with learners taking part in an intensive academic programme that begins at 08h00 in the morning and ends at 17h00.
This morning I visited the institute and was impressed with the organization and systems in place at this school. Learners walked from class to class in an orderly fashion and expressed their happiness at the opportunities they were receiving at this temporary school. I have no doubt that they are receiving sound tuition and will be prepared and ready for their exams at the end of this term.
At Umyezo Wama Apile Combined School, the relocation of the Grade 11 and 12 learners has meant that seven new classrooms have become available to reduce the overcrowding at the school. The school management have re-organised the timetable and class sizes in order to accommodate these changes. Learners are now able to learn in more comfortable conditions.
But, as mentioned above, our main priority is to acquire permanent land. We will continue to put pressure on the National Minister of Public Works in this regard.
We will not rest until we acquire the land for the permanent school.