Two Boksburg schools enter into a ‘marriage’

Joe Mpisi with MMC for Human Settlements Lesiba Mpye officially opening the new classrooms at Sunward Park High School.

The Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi, officially launched the twinning of Reiger Park Secondary and Sunward Park High School, on Friday June 9.

The Twinning Programme is part of the Gauteng Department of Education’s wider strategic framework and its “Re-organisation of Schools” strategy.

The objectives of the programme are to improve learner outcomes and foster social cohesion in nurturing holistic learner development by creating an environment for cultural exchange through sharing expertise and resources across suburban and township schools.

Sunward Park High School and Reiger Park Secondary School principals, Ansie Peens and Gregory Fisch, honour Joe Mpisi, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee during the GDE twinning of Reiger Park Secondary School and Sunward Park High School.

The programme also ensures that learners are exposed to peers from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, improves equality of access to high-quality education, and strengthens the quality of education delivered compared to global best practice.

The Gauteng Department of Education have already paired Bovet Primary and Lyndhurst Primary Schools in Johannesburg East District; Alexandra Secondary and Sandown High Schools, also in Johannesburg East District; Cultura Secondary and Zithobeni Secondary Schools in Gauteng North District, Bronkhorstspruit; and now Reiger Park Secondary and Sunward Park High School, in Ekurhuleni South District.

Seen here are Ward 34 Clr Charlie Crawford, Sgt Cebisa Maseko, Anele Ncube (Grade Eight learner at Sunward Park), W/O Malose Raboshaba, Cst Mbali Luthuli, Gugu Mamba (Grade Nine learner at Reiger Park Secondary School) and Ward 43 Clr Bruce Reid.

“These pairs of schools have demonstrated that through twinning, the resources can be shared between schools, and learners and educators can participate in shared teaching and learning activities,” said Lesufi.

Cutting the ribbon to the new classrooms at Sunward Park High School.

“As we twin schools towards improved education for all our learners in Gauteng, some of the misconceptions that arise include that twinned schools would have one bank account and share funds, thereby disadvantaging one school.

“The department would like to dispel that notion and confirm that the programme is all about modernisation and moving away from the traditional education system delivery,” Lesufi said.

MMC for Human Settlement Lesiba Mpye speaking at the Sunward Park High School during the GDE Twinning of Reiger Park Secondary School and Sunward Park High School.

He also highlighted that there are no dropping of standards, as one school does not benefit at the expense of the other.

The event was attended by high-profile dignitaries from the Education Department, Ward 43 Clr Bruce Reid, Ward 34 Clr Charlie Crawford, SAPS and EMPD officers, Human Settlements MMC Lesiba Mpya, and Reiger Park and Sunward Park learners with their educators.

Joe Mpisi, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, gave the keynote address.

“We are happy as the department to have come this far and are continuing to introduce new programmes to benefit our learners.

“We want to transform the notion of suburb and township schools as we want to make them one. There are still a number of schools who are refusing to be twinned but we will not give up; we will not negotiate transformation.

“We congratulate Reiger Park and Sunward Park for agreeing to be part of our vision,” said Mpisi.

Edward Mosuwe who is the HOD of Education.

Ansie Peens, principal at Sunward Park High School, said: “We are very excited on our new venture with Reiger Park as we will work hand in hand and commit ourselves to this new relationship.

“We have already started working together by training Reiger Park educators on E-learning. We also held our first ever inter-house athletics day together and a colour festival.”

Reiger Park Grade Nine learner Gugu Mamba said she was delighted with the twinning of the two schools, as it will benefit them both.

“We have met new friends and we are now able to engage with learners from different cultures and races,” Mamba said.

Ntombikayise Sibeko

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