Eisleben Road Primary turns 40

Grade 7 pupils Azania Satira, Zac November, principal Gregory Maarman, Kaydie Solomons and Kelly Gomas.

A Rocklands primary school has challenged its pupils, teachers, staff and parents to be positive and take their education to the world.

Eisleben Road Primary School celebrates its 40th anniversary this year with a host of events, including a celebration show entitled Coolerbox music and dance, at the school on Saturday March 18 from 4pm. Tickets cost R100.

Principal Gregory Maarman said the slogan “Eisleben Road Primary to the World” was catching on as they needed trend setters; people to think innovatively; and that people should take note of deeds big or small.

“For this we need to work together and we need to reflect on what we do at school,” he said.

Fundraiser artists include international performers with roots in Mitchell’s Plain – the Adams brother Loukmaan and Emo, Salome, Jeodhouse Band, master of ceremonies Quinton Manuels and disc jockey (DJ) Cool J.

Mr Maarman has also tasked his staff with achieving their masters by 2030.

Mr Maarman wants to mimic the world’s most well-developed public education systems, including that of Finland, where teachers are required to have a master’s degree, including pedagogical studies and teaching practice.

The Rocklands school has 1 183 pupils, 25 Western Cape Education Department (WCED) teachers and support staff, four school governing body teachers and four Grade R practitioners.

The no fees school asked parents to voluntarily contribute R100 a month per child to help meet monthly school expenses.

“If we don’t get 70 percent of those moneys our school budget will be affected,” he said.

As an incentive pupils whose fees are up to date are able to attend excursions, which are aligned to the curriculum.

“This amounts to 28 excursions between Grade r and Grade 7, while the pupil is at the school,” he said.

The school holds fundraisers to help subsidise pupils either with school fees or any extras parent cannot afford.

Mr Maarman attributed the school’s success to partnerships built with donors, including JP21 Foundation and corporate sponsors; qualified teachers; parents and pupils.

“We are not able to move forward without partnerships,” he said.

The school hall which was completed last year was used for the first parents’ meeting on Thursday March 9 because they were waiting on chairs.

The school sports a cricket pitch, which hosts more than 10 schools to play six-a-side in cricket.

It has a fruit and vegetable garden, which contributes to the wholesome meals served at the feeding scheme.

Last week the Department of Public Works assessed work to replace the school’s roof.

Mr Maarman said they were proud of their athletes, seven of whom who participated in the Western Province Champs on Friday March 3.

He said they were on the brink of securing a coach.

With an array of activities including cricket, athletics, marching band, mini cricket, cross-country, netball, soccer for girls and boys, chess, maths club, drama club and gardening club.

A challenge for the school and its community is unemployed parents.

“This has an impact on our pupils who are particularly stressed every Monday. They are anxious, frustrated and aggressive. They are so used to having to fend for themselves that when they get to school they have to adjust because teachers care for them,” he said.

Mr Maarman said from Wednesday onwards pupils seem to relax a bit more and are more focused on learning.

He said with a functional hall they may be able to host parent workshops.

They plan on hosting a Seniors’ Day; Father and Son Day and Mother and Daughter Day.

The school governing body will host a dance in September.

Mr Maarman called on the support from different role players in the community, including religious leaders, sports fraternity, parents and the education department to take hands in improving learning in Mitchell’s Plain.

He said from next term pupils will stay an extra 30-40 minutes for extra reading lessons. From Grade R to Grade 7 pupils together with teachers will help each other to improve on the school’s literacy and numeracy results.

This programme started last year and has shown results.

The school has also partnered with West End Primary School, in Lentegeur, named in the Top 10 shortlist for World’s Best School Prize for Overcoming Adversity 2022.

The duo share best practices and Mr Maarman has been hosting sessions with their partners’ teachers.

• For tickets to the Coolerbox music and dance show call Farieda Tallard on 076 127 0873.