SCHOOLS NEED SUPPORT FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR TO ASSIST WITH FUNDING
Following an extended period in which Templeton High School was without a single mathematics teacher, Cookhouse Wind Farm lent a hand to fund this crucial teaching post. Three years later, the school has three mathematics teachers and is excited about the increased uptake of this essential subject.
“After not having a maths teacher for two years, many of the learners were discouraged and did not want to take the subject. This year however, we have nearly doubled the number of learners who are choosing maths as a subject. We’ve been working hard to try and rectify the backlog that was created while we had no maths teacher and we are so relieved to finally be seeing a difference,” said Mr. Jonathan Plaatjies, Principal at Templeton High School in Bedford, Eastern Cape.
Gideon Williams began teaching at the school at the end of 2016, filling this temporary teaching post, which was funded by the wind farm. He is still teaching at the school, after being appointed as a full time teacher in 2018 by the Department of Education. He is responsible for Grade 6 and 7 Mathematics and Maths Literacy to Grade 10 and 12 learners and most importantly, the school is seeing an increased interest in the subject amongst learners. “Maths is such an important subject and there is often a shortage of teachers, a situation that is aggravated by our rural location, as many teachers prefer a city environment,” added Mr. Plaatjies.
The fact that the wind farm could step in to fund the temporary teaching post and more recently provided funding for grass cutting equipment to assist in the school’s general maintenance and in particular the sports fields, is an important support for a community school such as this.
“This type of funding is so important to us because as a school, we just can’t afford to pay all the salaries. We are in a poor community and many of the learners struggle to pay any school fees,” commented Mr. Plaatjies.
As part of their social economic development programme, Cookhouse Wind Farm responds to the educational needs of the local primary and high schools in Adelaide, Bedford, Cookhouse and Somerset East, from funding of educator salaries to the establishment of computer labs and equipment. Since 2014 Cookhouse Wind Farm has provided funding and support to Adelaide Primêre (Adelaide) and Templeton High School (Bedford).