Rocklands High cooks up class act in new kitchen

At the back, from left, are principal Nigel Pelston, pupil Jody Bosman, Grand West socio-economic development officer Crissy Dyers and GrandWest general manager Mervyn Naidoo. Front: pupil Tamzyn Fredericks, pupil Joshua Antoncich, pupil Aaliah Diedericks, teacher Tasneem Brey, pupil, Cassidy Baaitjies, pupil Haneefah Gain and subject advisor for consumer studies and hospitality studies for the metro south education district Melvina September.

A Rocklands High School teacher thought it was a distant dream when she applied for her school to get a new consumer-studies kitchen, but now that dream has become a reality.

The new kitchen was formally opened on Monday May 15 at a ceremony attended by the donors, GrandWest, as well as school pupils and staff and various dignitaries.

The old kitchen had been in a poor state, said teacher Tasneem Brey, who applied for the revamp. “Even after cleaning it would still look as though it needs a clean… Pupils would literally have to jump over the holes in the floor, the cupboards were chipped off and it looked bad.”

Previously pupils had to bring their own kitchenware from home, but now each child will have their own pots, pans and utensils to use.

“My wish is for pupils to really appreciate the donation. It has been a lengthy process. We’re so thankful to have been given this opportunity,” Ms Brey said.

GrandWest general manager Mervyn Naidoo said they had received many applications, but Rocklands High had been the school in most need of assistance.

“The best investment we can make is the investment in our pupils,” he said.

Western Cape Education Department deputy director general Alan Meyer said: “We want pupils to be excited about being the change within their communities. There are so many teachers engaged in the school and you can see it. Well done, we wish you all the success going forward. It’s amazing to see the shift this kitchen has made in the school; it brings a different energy.”

Principal Nigel Pelston said the new kitchen was an “awesome improvement” on the old one.

“Our pupils will get the feel of a functional state-of-the-art kitchen. Even though science and maths are a focus at our school, consumer studies also play a vital role in hospitality. New dreams can be fostered by our pupils through sponsors.”

Matric pupil Alicia Heyns, who received a “most aspiring chef” award at the ceremony, said she was grateful for the opportunities the new kitchen created.

“This makes the dream a little more real than before.”

Fellow matric Aaliah Diedericks said working in the old kitchen had been a struggle. “It was cramped but we made do with what we had. Now things will taste better. The ovens are clean. I thought this wouldn’t happen in my time at Rocklands and it did.”

The new kitchen was formally opened on Monday May 15.
GrandWest general manager Mervyn Naidoo and principal Nigel Pelston cut the ribbon to the new kitchen.
WCED deputy director Alan Meyer
Pupil Zoe Mullins playing the song, I Believe, by Yolanda Adams.
Singing in the school choir from left are Gideon Müller, Courtney Allison, Lucille Jacobs, Katherine Jones, Leena Mouton, Randy September and Shermicah Hendricks.
Principal Nigel Pelston, left, and GrandWest general manager Mervyn Naidoo with matric pupil Alicia Heyns, who received the “most aspiring chef” award.
Matric pupils Aaliah Diedericks and Daylyn Dirkse in the pantry full of donated kitchenware.