29 November 2023

By Al Qalam Reporter

An under-resourced secondary school at Chibini outside Ixopo – deep in rural KwaZulu-Natal – now has a brand new and equipped administration block that replaces crumbling makeshift offices, thanks to a more than R500 000 injection by the South African Muslim Charitable Trust (SAMCT) and Al Baraka Bank.

Sinevuso Secondary School’s plight was recently alleviated jointly by the South African Muslim Charitable Trust (SAMCT) and Al Baraka Bank.

Speaking at a function at Sinevuso Secondary School to mark the infrastructure hand-over, SAMCT representative, Gaff Osman said: “A sound education is the right of every child in South Africa. But to deliver such education requires the appropriate infrastructure and support materials. The sad reality is that many of our country’s schools are significantly under-resourced. This is particularly prevalent in rural areas, such as this. The consequence of inferior educational institutions is that it becomes extremely difficult for teachers to impart their knowledge and for learners to absorb what they are being taught.”

Being a common problem and one which Government is unable to rectify alone, Osman said it fell to charitable organisations and private sector businesses to step in and assist in making a positive difference.

He added that Sinevuso Secondary School – a Quintile 2 ‘no fees’ school that serves a socio-economically deprived rural community – was severely under-resourced, but in spite of its set-backs, the staff and learners “do amazing work and achieve exceptional results under the most trying of circumstances.” Originally a training centre, the facility was converted to a school in 1998, although no additional infrastructure was developed, with the exception of the construction of a few makeshift offices for use by the Principal, senior staff and teachers.

“This has been the norm for many years, in spite of being fundamentally unsustainable. Every school should be equipped with proper offices for the Principal and his team, as well as a staff room for use by teachers to complete administrative tasks, take their lunch and relax during breaks in the school day. The Principal and staff here have never had the opportunity to enjoy what many of their counterparts in other parts of the Province and country take for granted, until now,” Osman said.

The SAMCT has also funded a borehole at the school, replacing the unreliable supply of municipal water, which had become unaffordable.

Osman stressed: “Water is a basic need, regardless of one’s socio-economic standing and regardless of whether one is based in a rural or urban environment. Sinevuso Secondary School’s answer lay in sinking a borehole, ensuring a continuous, reliable source of this life-giving commodity. However, boreholes are expensive to install and it was, therefore, our pleasure as the SAMCT to reach out to Sinevuso Secondary School, paying for the sinking of a borehole, bringing to the school fresh water to overcome hygiene and sanitation challenges, as well as paving the way for the establishment of a school community garden, which will impact positively on the nutritional needs of learners here, as well as members of the broader community.”

Al Baraka Bank, which has had a long association with Sinevuso Secondary School, has played an active support role since 2014, to help provide for its academic needs.

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