Langebaan Pre-Primary now has its own home in the heart of the community – thanks to the support of local industries like Tronox Mineral Sands.
After identifying the need for affordable, quality education that would be easily accessible to the local community, educator Bevelynn Blaaw decided to open Langebaan Pre-Primary School in 2012.
The pre-school offers early childhood development for children between the ages of three and six. It is a registered non-profit organisation (NPO) and has a structured programme, with two female qualified teachers and two female support staff.
After almost eight years of operating from the town’s skate park in Langebaan, it was time for the small school to have a home of its own.
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Giving early childhood education a helping hand.
Blaaw, now the principal of Langebaan Pre-Primary School, joined together with members of the local community and reached out to local businesses to help fund the purchase of suitable land on which a proper school could be built.
“My vision for the school is for it to grow from strength to strength, and in about two years be in a position to start Grade 1 to 3 classes. Early childhood development is a crucial phase in a child’s life - and this is where I come in, as I really want to make a valuable difference in the lives of these children,” said Blaaw
In 2018, the Saldanha Municipality came on board and donated a piece of land to the school in Langebaan. The necessary rezoning exercise took place, and the green light was given. “We want the municipality to be seen as an enabler of social and economic development, with our community coming first,” explained Henrich Mettler, Municipal Manager at Saldanha Bay Municipality.
“We see partnerships as the best way forward. While we understand that as a municipality we have a mandate in terms of the constitution and the laws and regulations that govern us, if we partner with companies such as Tronox, they can assist us to do things outside of this mandate. Langebaan Pre-Primary School is a good example of one of these initiatives.”
The following year, Tronox joined other local industries in donating money for the purchase of six containers, which have been erected on the allocated land and will be used as classrooms. Tronox funding was also used to pay staff salaries in 2020. This was a significant help in overcoming the limitations of Covid-19 restrictions and the notable reduction in donations from businesses during this time.
“Tronox has an interest in ensuring that we address the socio-economic challenges of our communities by working closely with non-profitable organisations and different partners with a direct interest in our schools at all levels, to promote high quality education,” said Nozuko Basson, Regional Manager: Communities and Corporate Affairs.