Report of the visit of the Buissant family to the Norma Road Primary School:
On March the 12th, 2010, we paid a visit to the Norma Road Primary School, together with Rene Naylor, our representative for the MvNF in South Africa. We were warmly welcomed by Mr. Junaid Daries, his staff and children of the school.
The NRPS employs 22 teachers and has 640 pupils of which 75% have learning disabilities and English language problems. Classes vary from 35 up to 50 pupils of which most are coming from townships. The financial budget for this school = Rand 800.000 (€ 80.000) whilst the government support is only R 141.000 (= € 14.100). The deficit is covered by school fees R 600 per pupil per year and donations however only 3 to 4 parents per class can afford to pay school fees! That tells us how impotant donations are for this project.
Every morning around 180 pupils are given a (very early one, so others will not know) hot breakfast made by the teachers. This because their parents cannot provide this meal or sometimes any meals at all. The teachers pay these out of their own pockets. Lunches are also catered for by the school, for some of the pupils the last meal till next day!
The government supports only one learning support teacher (= remedial teacher) who works three times a week to help pupils from the age 9 up to 13 years old. Mr. Daries stressed that it is very important to start remedial teaching at the First grade and would like to employ at least three to four remedial teachers full time in order to relieve the current teachers so they can concentrate on the regular subjects. One full time remedial teacher will cost R 9.000 ( = € 900,00 ) per month and Mr. Daries would be grateful if the MvNF can support one or more remedial teachers with a minimum term of one year.
It was furthermore mentioned that there is a tremendous need for all kinds of stationary (pencils, colouring crayons etc, etc) and the following sports articles for:
- Scoccer, being the most popular sport at this school
- Table tennis
All athletic gear and wear is most welcome.
Also very welcome are any kind of small musical instruments for the Music classes. As it is now they use amongst others plastic ice cream containers as drums or they make their own instruments. Very extraordinary to hear and see them perform. An absolute highlight during our school tour.
Whenever in Cape Town, please do pay a visit to this fantastic project, a school which will warm your heart. Incase any of us supporting the MvNF would like to visit South Africa and willing to do volunteer’s work one can contact Mr. Daries directly who will advise about the needs for the school at that moment. There are many things to be done, such as: paintwork, making wooden benches, gardening, organizing sports activities, as well as cooking for the children and much more. Help for the kindergarten, the youngest of the school, will be mostly welcomed. Mr. Daries can provide for a place to stay at moderate costs.
The Dutch flag welcomes you, children sing and play music and you will see that any help is desperately needed , this not only by the children but by the teachers as well. They did not complained about anything, only explaining to us that the work done, all by themselves, proved to be too much sometimes and they felt so tired at times, so the more hands and help, the more results and joy!
All we can conclude is that this project is the ideal and right cause for the MvNF since it fits the aim of the foundation perfectly.
We , whenever in Cape Town, will always pay Mr. Junaid Daries and his staff and pupils a visit and give them all support possible, in any way.
Jan Arend, Linda and Calista Buissant