13 March 2014

South Africa: Green Schools Lead the Way in Gauteng

Two new state-of-the-art schools in the country's most populous province have officially opened their doors, with the promise of a good quality education and brighter future through energy efficient means.

Northriding Secondary School in Randburg and Noordwyk Secondary School in Midrand were officially opened by the province's first citizen, Premier Nomvula Mokonyane.

The two schools are fitted with solar panels, which allow them to generate their own electricity. Rain Harvesting Systems have also been installed, which purify rain water within the school premises, so that it can be reused for various purposes.

Construction of the public schools began in November 2012, with the Northriding school costing R55 million and Noordwyk coming in at R52 million.

Officiating the opening of Northriding Secondary, Premier Mokonyane said the building of the schools was an indication of government's commitment to education and a green future.

"There is no reason learners in a school like this one cannot be productive. Government is doing everything in its power to create conducive conditions for learning and teaching," she said.

The premier said there were plans to install solar systems in all Gauteng schools. "The new schools that we are building now have solar systems."

Premier Mokonyane said the provincial government was working towards ensuring that every community has a school.

She asked communities to play a role in safeguarding school infrastructure. "We are appealing to our communities not to vandalise the schools. These schools belong to you."

Learners were equally proud of their new school.

"I love our new school. It is beautiful," said Grade 8 learner Precious Gama.

"Our teachers are very nice and they always make sure that we understand what they are teaching us."

The school has 25 classrooms, a library and laboratory, two science labs, a canteen and sports field.

It started this year in January with the admission of Grade 8 and 9 learners.

School principal Francois Oosthuizen said only 10 of the 25 classrooms are being used currently.

"We are excited with the new school and we hope that our learners will perform better. We hope to admit learners for other grades next year," he said.

Noordwyk Secondary School also has much to be pleased about. The new school has an administration block, 24 classrooms, two science labs, multipurpose classrooms, two computer rooms, a library and sports facility.

Making room for learners

Gauteng has a total of 1 899 542 learners enrolled in 2 060 public schools across 49 888 classes.

Gauteng Infrastructure Development MEC Qedani Mahlangu said 141 new schools have been built in the province since 2009.

Both schools which were opened today can accommodate up to 1 000 learners.

- SAnews.gov.za

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