Sefako Mapogo Makgatho Primary School
Overcrowding of classrooms in some of South Africa’s public schools remains a pertinent problem. The plight of overcrowded classrooms became apparent for the Rangers and Patrons of Supreme Cadets Institute (SCI) who have witnessed it, in their engagements with learners and Cadets at Sefako Mapogo Makgatho Primary School (SMPS). In an activity where Cadets had to identify social challenges within their school, 73% of the Cadets flagged overcrowding as a social challenge leading to learners not being able to concentrate as it was always too hot especially in Summer and Spring. Through the experiences, it became a priority for SCI to raise funds towards building more classrooms for the school.
Two former Atteridgeville student activists of the 80’s and now businessmen, Mr. Miles Nzama and Mr. Tiego Moseneke, responded to the call for classrooms to be built at SMPS. They joined hands to sponsor the building of two new classrooms in a drive to alleviate overcrowding in the public schools of the Atteridgeville community.
The project officially started on the 19th September 2019 and was completed in early January just before learners went back to school. The first classrooms have now been completed at Sefako Mapogo Makgatho Primary School, accommodating 84 learners (42 in each class).
On the 7th of February 2020, Encha Group and the Nzama Family Trust in support of the Supreme Cadets Institute hosted a handover ceremony for the two new classrooms they built for SMPS. The event was attended by representatives from Encha Group, Nzama Family Trust and Supreme Cadets Institute. In addition, there were also representatives from the Atteridgeville Heritage Forum, Gauteng Department of Education including the Gauteng MEC of Education, Mr.Panyaza Lesufi and members of the school governing body.
The ceremony started off with an assembly in which speakers for the day were given an opportunity to address the grade five, six and seven learners and thank the sponsors for the work they were doing at the school.
The school principal, Ms. Jane Tsharane ran the program for the morning. She welcomed all guests and thanked the sponsors for being present at the ceremony. She introduced and welcomed Mrs. Koketso Moseneke, a Patron of the Supreme Cadets Institute, the organization that made the call to the school and sponsors for the classrooms to be built.
Mrs. Moseneke introduced the organization and its leaders. She briefly explained how the whole classroom project began. The project started when the Supreme Cadets Institute was dealing with a bullying case and asked Jane, the school principal to move the bullied learners to her school. Jane responded to say she has teachers who are willing but the problem was that the classrooms are not enough and they are crowded. That was when the project officially started. Mrs. Moseneke thanked the sponsors and the project manager, Mr. Lifa Ngwezi.
Our sponsors Mr. Moseneke of Encha Group and Mr. Nzama of the Nzama Family Trust also motivated the learners. They motivated the learners on nurturing their education, working hard and coming back to their communities to invest and develop them. Mr. Nzama is a former learner of Sefako Mapogo Makgatho Primary School and his mother was a teacher at the school until she retired.
Mr. Oupa Masuku from the Atteridgeville Heritage and History thanked the sponsors for their contribution to the school and motivated the learners to continue to work hard. Ouma Seleka, the circuit manager of the school together with Mr. Mfanelo Ntsobi from the Department of Education were given the opportunity to speak about the state of education within the Atteridgeville community as well as why this project was so significant in the context of wider nation building. The two speakers were granted the opportunity to introduce and welcome the Gauteng MEC of Education, Mr. Panyaza Lesufi.
MEC Lesufi spoke about investing back in our communities, reiterating on the importance of us investing in our communities and working together to develop our communities. Furthermore, he expressed his gratitude to the sponsors and all the people who contributed in building the two classrooms. He thanked them for protecting the learner’s future by investing in their education.
After Assembly, the delegation was led to the classrooms for the official ribbon cutting. They were welcomed by youth violinists of the Atteridgeville community, Terrence Moeng and Thapelo Serei. To honour the ceremony, the SCI Cadets were given an opportunity to recite the Cadets pledge. The Sefako Mapogo Makgatho Primary School junior choir was also given the opportunity to render a few musical items, to thank the sponsors for their classrooms.
The sponsors and MEC were then led to cut the ribbons to officially open the classrooms. The grade one learners who make use of the new classrooms were asked to come assist in cutting the ribbons. Each sponsor cut the ribbons dedicated to their respective family members.
The ceremony ended with a vote of thanks from the classroom building project manager Mr. Lifa Ngwezi who encouraged the MEC to do more and keep up the good work he is doing for our learners in the Gauteng Province.