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Two impoverished schools get a R300 000 lift-off ​

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Two needy schools in Orange Farm in Region G were given a major boost recently when the City of Johannesburg’s Department of Social Development and its partner –the Masithuthuke Education Group – presented them with study material worth more than R300 000.

The two schools are St Charles Lwanga Roman Catholic Centre and Govan Mbeki Primary. They are both situated in Ward 5, one of the most impoverished parts of Orange Farm, where the majority of youths do not have matric and lack general skills. There are high levels of poverty, teenage pregnancy and unemployment in the area.

The St Charles Lwanga Centre is an adult education institution – the only one in the area that operates during the day – with more than 360 learners and 19 educators. It offers Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) classes as well as courses such as catering, sewing, bricklaying and motor mechanics. The Masithuthuke Education Group previously operated from Orange Farm but is now based in Roodepoort on the West Rand.

Thabiso Hlongwane, the centre’s coordinator, said the two schools were chosen after a thorough and extensive needs analysis conducted among all schools in the area. He said both schools fitted in well with the criteria that the centre had put together. Hlongwane said he was confident the study material would be used optimally.

The material covers subjects such as technology, mathematical literacy, natural science, human sciences, life orientation, English and Afrikaans. Agnes Mabote, the principal of St Charles Lwanga Centre, said the material would assist the school in achieving its objectives of making local adults self-sustainable and self-employable. Govan Mbeki Primary School principal Kayizizi Emmanuel said the material would make the educators’ job easier.

Ward councillor Penny Mphole was highly impressed with the donation but decried the lack of a library in the neighbourhood. “There is no doubt that the study material is going to assist the learners. That much we appreciate. But it is no secret that this area needs a library that can benefit the entire community,” she said.

“However, this is a start and it shows we are doing our bit to address ignorance, illiteracy and poverty.”