Groundbreaking Ceremony at New Westlake Primary School
This morning, Western Cape Education Minister Donald Grant, attended a sod-turning ceremony at the site of the new Westlake Primary School.
Westlake is one of the twenty five (25) new schools prioritised for construction in the next three years under the Western Cape Education Department's (WCEDs) recently released infrastructure plan.
"Last year I met with community members from Westlake who stressed the need for a new primary school in the area. There has been substantial growth in Westlake over the last decade and proposals for a new school date back as far as 2002," said Grant.
"A baseline audit to ascertain where we should target our future infrastructure interventions confirmed the need for a primary school in Westlake. So we made an undertaking to investigate the different options available to us so that we could get this process moving as swiftly and as fast as possible."
Grant said that a number of provincial Government Departments were involved, including the Department of Environmental Affairs, Development Planning and Local Government, the Department of Public Works, the Department of Finance, the Department of Education, and the City of Cape Town.
"Today, we are seeing the fruition of that undertaking, which is a co-operative venture between the provincial government and private donors, the Ackerman Foundation, who have financially contributed to the building of this school."
He said that the school was an important example of how the private sector and the community can assist the Western Cape Government in improving the quality of education in the province.
"In an open, opportunity society for all, it is the state's responsibility to ensure that every child has access to a quality education, however, there is nothing stopping the private sector playing a role in this regard. After all, society as a whole benefits from access to quality education."
Grant said that building a quality education system was like building a school.
"A well-constructed building needs a good foundation. Without a strong foundation, the building will collapse. Just as we turn this soil and prepare the foundations of the site, we are ensuring that as many resources are being channelled to the foundation stages of learning in this province, particularly in grades one to three (1-3),' said Grant.
"Once the foundation has been prepared, we can then lay the bricks and mortar. This is where we target the intermediate stages of learning. This is where the building takes shape. As we move on to the final stages, such as targeting specific areas such as the windows, doors and paint, we in the province are ensuring that all learners get the assistance and resources they need to pass in the subjects they have chosen for their final National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations."
Grant said that he would be monitoring the progress of the building process carefully and looked forward to officially opening the doors to the school in late 2011, or early 2012.
Minister of Education, Donald Grant
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