Learners at the newly built Menzi Primary school kicked off the 2019 academic year with digital boards in front of them and tablets in hand. The state-of-the-art facility was officially opened by Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Wednesday.
The green technology school, which is in the heart of Langaville in Tsakane township in Ekurhuleni, boasts facilities such as 33 smart classrooms, a Grade R block with five classrooms, two smart science labs, two smart multi-purpose rooms, a library and dining hall.
Makhura was accompanied by Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi and Infrastructure MEC Jacob Mamabolo. Addressing community members at the official opening, Makhura said the school is an investment in the future of the country.
"The start of the school year is about laying the foundation for a better future. We are investing in education a lot, especially in township schools. "The investment we are making as a country is in these children. These children are the children that will be independent and build their own homes," said the Premier.
Makhura hailed the opening of Menzi Primary as a measure to improve the quality of education in township schools. With a price tag of R105 508 403, Lesufi urged parents and community members to protect the newly constructed mega school infrastructure.
"I am pleading with you to protect these schools. If you see someone vandalising these schools, report them to the police," said Lesufi. In protecting the schools, Lesufi said the community would ensure that the learners of Menzi Primary school have a shot at competing in the imminent fourth industrial revolution.
"These learners are part of the generation that will attend schools of specialisation. "They will participate in the fourth industrial revolution," he said. To prepare for the fourth industrial revolution, Lesufi said his department will also unveil two schools of specialisation in the areas of maritime studies and the motor industry.
In a bid to address the high demand for space in Gauteng schools, the provincial Education Department announced that Tshepisong, Mayfield and Centurion Primary Schools will also be opened this month. Allaying the fears of late applicants, Lesufi assured parents that his department is hard at work to place learners in classrooms.
"We don't want any learner to sit at home. I want to thank my team, which is working hard to ensure that we process late applications and will ensure that by the end of January, all school-going learners are placed," said Lesufi.
(With Inputs from South African Government Press Release)