Pholela High School in Bulwer officially opened after R91m revamp
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DURBAN - FOLLOWING a much-needed multimillion-rand refurbishment, the Grade 12 class of 2021 had high expectations placed on them.
Pholela High School in Bulwer, Harry Gwala District, which was established in 1921, had fallen into a state of utter disrepair over a number of decades. It took 18 months to complete the work on a budget of close to R100 million – R90 921 924 74.
“The future looks bright if the past trend of Pholela’s matric performance is anything to go by because the 2020 matric class obtained a 90% pass rate. Now that the school has been renovated and refurbished, we expect the 2021 Pholela High School matric class to achieve nothing less than a 100% pass rate in 2021 …
“We commend the teachers and learners for their dedication and discipline to overcome the obstacles that were stacked against them. Continue to do your job with diligence and determination,” said Premier Sihle Zikalala at the handover of the newly refurbished school.
He called for the ring-fencing of the maintenance budget at all levels of government to cater for the regular and scheduled maintenance of public infrastructure.
Zikalala said that the maintenance of the public infrastructure, mainly schools, clinics and sports fields, remained a challenge.
He said what they saw during school visits was a good example of what happened when infrastructure was not routinely maintained.
“This is one of the most fundamental weaknesses in our system. The democratic government has delivered houses, basic services, access roads, clinics, hospitals and schools and placed billions of rand worth of infrastructure in the hands of the citizens of KwaZulu-Natal. What we learn from the example of Pholela High School and similar structures is the need to make provision in our budgets for maintenance,” Zikalala said.
He said during this year’s state of the province address, they had identified the vital cog in the management of assets as key to continued delivery of services by local government.
Zikalala was accompanied by Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, MEC for Education Kwazi Mshengu, local mayors and traditional leaders at the handover on Friday.
The school was supplied with equipment for ICT, maths, science and technology to the value of R3.5m, which would serve 1 000 learners.
“This science and ICT-based school will add to the country's competitiveness and make us a global player in the future,” said Dlamini-Zuma.
Mshengu said the mandate was to equalise education; this included better-trained teachers and resources that were relevant for quality teaching and learning.
“We realise it is not about parents sending learners to urban and well-resourced schools. We need to bring better quality education to rural and township schools. There is an all-encompassing project to modernise teaching and learning. We are giving all the principals, all 6 000 of them, tablets. We will now save documents on cloud, hold meetings online and be able to research the best ways of managing the school.”