School infrastructure in South Africa is still characterised by the imbalances of the past based on the inequalities of the apartheid regime. It may take decades for the current regime of a democratic dispensation to address these imbalances.
On the other hand an expectation to provide quality public education cannot wait whilst the government is trying to address these imbalances.
By its own admission the Department of Basic Education in its publication titled Guidelines Relating to Planning for Public School Infrastructure concedes that though it has made progress in the provision of infrastructure, there are still imbalances with regards to the core elements or the basic mix of educational resource inputs constituting an enabling physical teaching and learning environment.
There is evidence that lack of guidance in providing basic mix of inputs has resulted in:Inadequate provision of school facilities and a lack of uniformity in providing those facilities.
Inspired by our late President Nelson Mandela, holding up the commitment to equality of educational opportunities for all, our school, Margot Fonteyn Secondary School, set in motion the creation of a multi-purpose space for learning that will not only be unique in its innovative versatility, but also strikingly different in its funding model.
Challenging the one-dimensional construction model, this space for learning will be built on more than just a concrete foundation. It will be cast in the establishment of an attitude that our youth and children can build on for many years to come - seeing oneself as actively pursuing a dream instead of passively waiting for a handout.
In fact, our teachers have already contributed substantial amounts of funds to the first phase of our project and have inspired several businesses to come along.
It is inspiring to be part of a journey where the tracks and even parts of the locomotive have been put in place and in motion by those who truly care about quality education in this country.
So when we come to knock on your door, it is not to start this movement, it will simply be to inspire you to walk this journey with us, for our youth, for our children.