Matlapana Primary school, which has an acute shortage of classrooms received a shot in the arm recently when Elephant Havens Wildlife Foundation donated two large tents worth over P58 000 to the school.
The school, with 1050 students only has 20 classrooms against the total of 36 classes. This has made learning difficult as pupils are forced to attend their lessons under trees and sometimes, which becomes a challenge during bad weather conditions.
Speaking during the hand-over ceremony, the foundation’s co-founder Boago Poloko said they have realised that there has been disconnect between the public and the tourism industry, which they have taken upon themselves to bridge through community outreach.
“Children are leaders of tomorrow and as such we must bring them up properly with the right skills, attitude and mindset to prepare them for the future,” Poloko stated.
Poloko who is an alumni of the school and wishes to see it bringing out more bright minds that will develop the community they come from in future. He further noted that the donation is the beginning of a cordial and long journey and partnership between the two entities.
For her part, Matlapana Primary School Head Letsweletse Maoto revealed that she has been working together with the area councilor for Matlapana Ward, Kobamelo Baikgodisi to seek assistance from various organisations as the situation became worse.
She expressed gratitude to the foundation for the prompt response to help the school with the tents to alleviate the challenge.
She said the number of pupils had reduced yearly due to the shortage of classrooms, further indicating that many pupils come for registration but they fail to admit all of them. In 2021 the school had a total of 1046 students but that was reduced to 1000 in 2022.
The school admits children from Sexaxa village and Boro Settlement with transport assistance from Feline Fields Safari Lodge and Botho Corps Trust, to whom she expressed gratitude for their assistance. prompt assistance they received from the foundation and she is hopeful that more organizations will lend a helping hand towards them.
Meanwhile, area councilor Baikgodisi expressed concern that the North-West District Council neglects challenges of serious shortages of classrooms, and as if that is not enough council leadership fail to turn up when such donations are made to help the situation.
He however appreciated the foundation for the donation which will go a long way in sheltering the pupils from harsh weather, and towards better performance of the children in the examinations.
Elephant Havens is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the African elephant. It is an orphanage that rescues orphaned and abandoned baby elephants, with the goal of eventually releasing them back into the wild alongside other elephants after 10years. Elephant Havens also works together with local communities to reduce conflict between villagers and elephants.