Help restore dilapidated Umzinto Primary School to its former glory

UMZINTO PRIMARY School is one of the oldest schools in the area and requires the assistance of the community to be restored to its former glory.

The school, which was built in the 1800’s has deteriorated to a shocking extent as a result of a combination of circumstances.

Adding to the deterioration are the thieves who steal light fittings, copper pipes, doors, burglar gates and taps.

On the first day of school, a plumber had to be called in as there was no water in the girl’s toilets due to stolen pipes and taps.

About eight classrooms are in darkness because of stolen light fittings and missing floorboards have been replaced with iron sheeting.

Dangling timber and peeling paint are a regular sight for educators and learners who have to walk into these unsafe classrooms which are on the verge of collapsing. The school has over 500 learners and about 70% of these are unable to pay their school fees.

The school which is rated as quintile five category only receives a government grant of about R80 000 per annum.

The state of the school is atrocious with gutters hanging or missing, loose floorboards, broken windows, missing light fittings and broken doors and windows. Management battles with the-day-to day running of the school, relying on credit to eke out the funds. The learners are feeling the effects too.

The roof to one classroom has collapsed and it is no longer in use, while other classrooms are no longer accessible because of safety issues. Snakes, frogs and rats sneak in through loose floorboards during classes.

The old building is not safe for the learners and educators and is an accident waiting to happen.

Although the new building provided some relief it does not accommodate all the learners, forcing them to make use of the old and unsafe building.

Because the school has been declared a heritage building it cannot be demolished, but must be renovated to restore it to its once beautiful self.

A fresh coat of paint, the replacing of light fittings, pipes, and floorboards would do wonders for the schools image.

An appeal is made to anyone who can roll up his sleeves and play a part in renovating Umzinto Primary School.

“The school has to pay the plumber from the little that we have as we have had a number of break-ins over the holidays. Although we have made a request to the Department of Education, our request will have to follow due process.

Anyone who can assist the school will be most welcome.

We call on past learners, educators, businesses and anyone who can lend a hand to help make this school the once beautiful institution it was,” appeals school Principal Mr Gabriel.

Mid South Coast Rising Sun

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