Little School on the Move.
Lions River Primary School, which serves the community of lions River, is tucked away in the Sappi Plantation off the R103.
While the community is not very well off, the spirit of teaching and learning is not impoverished in any way. The principal, Slondile Mhlongo, ensures a good standard of teaching and learning despite the countless challenges faced by the school, and is always on the lookout for opportunities to improve things.
Recently, St Anne’s Diocesian School donated a library to the school.
Lions River Primary is situated far from the community meaning that only those who can afford transport are able to access the quality teaching. The alternative is to walk the dusty and dangerous route to school.
Mrs Mhlongo is always looking to improve her little school and this year, with funding from N3TC was able to secure a second hand park home to be used as a classroom right in the centre of the community, so that transport is no longer an issue. The Municipality has leased a piece of land to the school, where the park home is now situated and the school hopes to move there as soon as possible. There are ongoing deliberations between the various Government Departments and the School Governing Body to expedite the relocation of the school. Resourceful and cheerful Mrs Mlongo concludes “We hope for the best and keep the light of education burning! Thank you N3TC for the part you have played in making this happen.”
Mama Gretta Makes her Mark!
iThemba Projects makes is possible for over 200 children in Sweetwaters in Pietermaritzburg to have access to quality Early Childhood Development (ECD) activities every week. Stu Walker of iThemba tells us that “Through curriculum development, one-on-one mentoring, teacher-led support groups, and skills-based workshops, we’re starting to see a big shift in the quality of education offered to children at this most critical stage.” Stu shares one particularly encouraging story.
Mama Gretta joined our programme several years ago, and excitedly began implementing the things she learned about ECD in her classroom. Quickly she transformed it from a place where children simply ate and slept to a busy, bustling centre of play and development.
A visit to her classroom today sees children playing at different activity centres, reading books, or doing puzzles. Mama Gretta has taken an active role in the teacher-led support groups for local creche teachers. This year she took it a step further and for the first time helped us lead a skills-based workshop. Seeing Mama Gretta confident in her skills as an educator, and able to pass them on to others in her community inspires us!
Next year we hope to bring local creche teachers who are new to our mentoring programme to observe in Mama Gretta’s classroom, and have her take them under her wing’.
Local teachers equipping and inspiring other teachers is what we need to see if we are truly going to see a community sustainably transformed and restored.
Thanks to funding from N3TC, iThemba Projects has been able to move closer to its goal of saturating one district in Sweetwaters community with quality Early Childhood Development.