Classrooms at Joostenberg
Joostenberg Primary, as the name suggests, serves the Joostenberg community. It can be found near the N1 off-ramp to Tygerberg Zoo. The school has just under 500 pupils including Grade R.
The school is unfortunately situated underneath major power lines, and this has hampered development. At present it is served by the original buildings handed over by the farm owner to the school, as well as a large number of pre-fab classrooms, some of which are in a severe state of disrepair.
The Foundation recently found funding to erect two classrooms as well as toilet facilities at the school, but as fast as they were built, so the need arose for more.
We have a large number of infrastructure projects on the go all the time, currently including the erection of new buildings, or refurbishment of existing buildings (waterproofing, insulating and replacing flooring) as requested by the schools. We have also had requests to build netball courts, and for office equipment, furniture and fittings. While the WCED does take care of basic needs, it cannot fulfil all the needs of the schools and on some occasions the Foundation works together with the WCED to enhance the project. Some current projects are specifically discussed below.
Should a donor wish to become involved in an infrastructure project, the Trustees will review the list with the donor, and implement the donor’s chosen project. Once earmarked for a specific donor, that donor will be able to participate in the project to whatever extent desired, including obtaining naming rights to the building etc where applicable.
New school classroom blocks: A number of schools require additional classroom blocks, or the replacement of prefab buildings and old containers. The Foundation tries to ensure that buildings are as multipurpose in design as possible, e.g. classrooms can open into halls where the school (and community) doesn’t have a hall. A block of four classrooms will cost approximately R2m (between R400,000 and R500,000 per classroom).
If the school has not had any infrastructure from the Education Department in the last few years, then it is likely to be supported in this endeavour by the provincial government, otherwise it is not, as a new request will go to the bottom of the queue. Again, a donor, or group of donors can associate as closely as they wish to the project, and the funds need only be made available once the project has been approved, but the project must have a firm commitment before the project will be approved.
Other infrastructure: There are always smaller infrastructure projects, such as:
a. Revamping toilets, cost approx. R15,000 per school.
b. We want to build netball courts at a number of the schools, as there is basically no extramural sporting option for girls. These will cost approximately R35,000 per court.
c. Office equipment comes from this budget. There are regular requests for photocopiers, computers, shelving etc. from the schools.
d. A number of the schools require some landscaping work to prevent the open areas from becoming mud baths in winter.
Sometimes the Foundation finds a sponsor who is willing to complete the installation as well, but on other occasions, the Foundation has to pay. Where possible, the Foundation uses local labour, thereby providing employment opportunities.
Character building programme – This is a specific programme run by two ex teachers (a 3rd will be required if we are to rollout to the extent requested), one being a Trustee of the Foundation, where they focus on a specific aspect of the Life Skills curriculum to teach values to the children. This program has generated much support from the schools. It was set up in such a way that the school has to elect the program, and pay for it, and then claim the funds back from the Foundation. This ensures that the schools participate because they want to. There are other benefits to the schools – for the period that the teacher is there, the class teacher has a well earned marking, admin and preparation breaks.
Each school needs to raise R13,000 to host the programme for a year. Sponsors that come via the DSF will be allocated the school the Foundation feels is the most needy. The Sponsor will be acknowledged as such by the school. Sponsors of this programme are requested to pay R1,100 per month.
Scholarship programme – The DSF offers bursaries for top students at its primary schools to attend Durbanville High School, and stay in the hostel. This is an opportunity for these children to attend a school with better facilities than they would have encountered at a local high school, stay in a hostel which provides regular meals and proper facilities, and generally to be exposed to a higher level of post school expectation.
Although one of our Trustees helps and monitors the children, the bursary is awarded under the name of the donor. A donor MUST be prepared to sponsor the pupils for all 5 years of High School as long as the pupil passes. A bursary for 2015 is valued at R25,000 and the pupil attends Durbanville High School. The scholarship is a full scholarship, and includes books, stationery, and certain specialist clothing. Partial scholarships may also be granted at R12,000 pa excluding hostel.
The Foundation also monitors students from its primary schools who are on partial bursaries, at Durbanville High or other high schools.
The Foundation is very proud of the fact that the first two pupils obtaining university entrance passes matriculated in 2011, and we have had quite a number of matriculants over the past few years. Unfortunately, it is not possible to track all the pupils graduating from our primary schools, but from the sampling that we do, the number reaching and passing matric is going up steadily.