Coromandel Farm School in the Lydenburg District of Mpumalanga is one of many rural schools that is battling to survive.
Coromandel is a rural community situated near Stonecutters Lodge and from which most of the lodge staff is drawn. The lodge has been involved with the village and the Coromandel Farm School for the past 15 years.
The once proud school has for years been neglected through the lack of budget and has functioned with little maintenance of buildings or grounds. There are currently around 300 pupils from grade 1 to grade 7. There are 9 teachers (plus the principal) who are paid by the government. There is no vehicle to ferry children to sports and cultural events as the school struggles to maintain a tenuous foothold in local school activities. The teachers have very little in the way of teaching aids. Where pictures are not available they draw their own: there are few charts on the walls and books, paper and writing materials are in scant supply.
Coromandel is an isolated community. They have no contacts in the commercial environment and no idea of how to raise funds for the school. They need money to pay for electricity, additional school rooms and building maintenance. They need teaching aids, schoolbooks and stationary and of course sport’s equipment.
Stonecutters Lodge has assisted the school in various ways over the years: Massmart very kindly donated school packs one year and CNA and Game Stores have assisted with discounts when Stonecutters have shopped annually for prizes for the school’s annual prize-giving, but our contributions are just a drop in the ocean.
The plight of rural schools in South Africa is alarming. Government is well aware of the importance of early education and aims to improve the quality of education at primary school level, but the private sector and the public can also be of enormous assistance. A good grounding at primary school level is the foundation for a successful high school career and is the cornerstone of education at any level, be it tertiary education, entrepreneurial endeavour or trade skills.
Anyone who would like to assist is asked to call the principal
Mr Richard Raphahlelo on 082 670 6693
Or call Lesley from Stonecutters Lodge on 083 375 0132.