Limpopo villagers demand primary school for 400 learners
Community identified land to build a school four years ago in Tshikhudini
“I wake up around 4am, preparing my two grandchildren in grade R for school,” says Florah Mashathini from Tshikhudini village in Limpopo. “If I do not wake up that time, the children will not make it for the buses to school.”
Mashathini, aged 60, then walks with her grandchildren to the bus stop, a kilometre away.
There are about 400 primary school learners using scholar transport to get to the nearest school in Folovhodwe, ten kilometres away. The 65-seater buses are full when they leave the village at around 6am. There is standing room only for some. Six buses transport primary school learners and another five buses take secondary school learners.
Tshikhudini, 70km south-east of Musina, needs its own primary school. But the Vhembe East district education office has been silent since it asked for recommendations for a site for the school in 2019, after parents requested a primary school.
The Musina municipality and the Manenzhe tribal council confirmed the need for the school in letters to the district in June 2019.
“We have been following up with the Vhembe East district office but it keeps giving us empty promises,” said traditional leader Vha Musanda Vho Tshikhudo Piet Munyai.
Mike Maringa, Limpopo Department of Basic Education spokesperson, said parents must follow up with the district office and escalate the matter to the province in writing.
Stephanus Tshinyelo, a community leader, says the village was established around 2003 and now has more than 1,000 households. There are also two more recently established villages nearby – Tshipale and Munungufhala.
“The number of learners from this area will increase and this warrants a school in the area. There is a five-hectare piece of land that we have identified for building a primary school,” said Tshinyelo.
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