Previously a four grade school in a basic windowless building for 400 students on two shifts it now has a 800/1,200 student capacity on three shifts.
Started in 2008 this project was delayed due to funding and local difficulties but was completed to the highest standard in 2010. As other schools, it consist of four new classrooms (making a total of eight), an Administration block with offices, store and library plus a new deep trench latrine. Just before completion electricity came to the nearby village and we were able to incorporate lights in all rooms allowing the start of a new third evening shift. This allows those farnimg youngsters not free in the day to attend an evening shift.
Opening of this upgraded school was on 17 October 2010 at a well attended impressive ceremony attended by the Rector Marco Oehlenschlager and Colette Vester from Coornhert Gymnasium, the main project funders.
The school opening ceremony brought an immediate and palatable uplifting of community spirit and their justifiable pride. Their school has brought them closer free access and better long-term educational facilities to (in three shifts) over 800/1,200 of the most vulnerable rural youngsters, many of whom without this school, probably would not have this opportunity to attend any education at all. After opening, new school registrations more than doubled.
Education is a long-term investment. The impact on education and future poverty reduction whether locally, regionally or nationally can only be judged after years if not decades of implementation. Its measure of success is dependent on so many other factors beyond our control such as climate, harvests, stability; that it makes us consider that in all honesty it would be disingenious of us to make any grand claims.
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