This year the children in Grade RR and Grade R in Pilgrim’s Rest will have more fun and have a better learning experience thanks to generous donations from Sabie residents and Transvaal Gold Mining Estates (TGME).
Two classrooms at the Pilgrim’s Rest Primary School are used for the 42 Grade RR children, aged from 3-5 years, and 21 Grade R’s. Government funding only kicks in from Grade R, the preparatory year before the children enter formal schooling, but the teacher only gets the basic stationery required.
The mothers of children in Grade RR pay R160 per month and from this, the teacher has to pay her salary as well that that of her assistant. There is very little, if any, leftover for furniture, equipment and any materials which are needed to enhance the children’s early development.
The needs of the Grade RR class came to the attention of TGME staff when they visited the school during January. They undertook to fix leaking roofs and electricity in all of the classrooms, which were appalling. An appeal for toys, including previously loved toys, was made to residents in Sabie.
Furniture for the office and classrooms, a mattress for each child to nap on, and educational posters to brighten the walls were sponsored by TGME. They also donated materials for both active and creative play – paper and crayons, clay, balls, skipping ropes, and much more.
Also, Sabie residents donated boxes full of toys. Big thanks are due to Denzel Laurie and his wife Lezaan who took it on themselves to arrange for and collect the toys.
The Pilgrim’s Rest Primary School has also had a serious challenge with water supply for many years. TGME is temporarily sponsoring two cleaners to keep the toilets clean and is working on installing a pipeline to link the JoJo tank with the ablution blocks.