Young Grade R learners forced to attend lessons in a school kitchen instead of a classroom at a
seriously under-resourced primary school in Umbilo, Durban, since 2014 are set to move into two
brand new fully equipped mobile classrooms, the result of a R320 000 injection by the South African
Muslim Charitable Trust (SAMCT).
Foundation phase learners at Carrington Primary School were forced out of their classrooms and
into make-shift learning facilities, including a kitchen and the school’s hall, as a result of massive
storm damage to infrastructure in 2014, from which the school has never recovered – until now.
Commenting at the official hand-over of the classrooms and equipment, Mr Shabir Chohan, a
Trustee of the SAMCT, said: “Education is the very necessary foundation for success in life and Grade
R is absolutely critical to early childhood development ahead of the formal primary educational
phase. Sadly, however, so many of our province’s young people still do not enjoy the fair and equal
educational opportunities they deserve. Here, at Carrington School, staff and learners have been
delivered an even bigger challenge to overcome.”
He stressed that in order to develop, young learners need a comfortable, functional learning
environment, equipped with the necessary tools and equipment to facilitate their cognitive and
physical skills development.
“Massive storm damage, way back in 2014, rendered this an impossibility for Grade R learners at
Carrington Primary School and, facing a funds shortage, staff were driven into an untenable
situation, creating a make-do classroom environment by moving into the school’s kitchen and hall
areas. This arrangement is simply not conducive to the delivery of a good educational platform. It is
not sustainable in the longer-term and has a negative impact on the learners’ overall growth,” Mr
In spite of the setbacks it has faced in the past, the school’s dedicated staff and learners have taken
the daily challenges they face in their stride. However, the advent of the two new and equipped
Grade R classrooms is a game-changer.
Mr Chohan said: “The school’s infrastructure and resources are simply not up to the job of enabling
excellence in education and that is a tragedy. We need to ensure the best possible learning
environment in order for our children to become appropriately equipped to take on and overcome
the challenges life casts before us on a daily basis. We, of the South African Muslim Charitable Trust,
recognise the vital role education plays and acknowledge that it is the right of every child to benefit
from a sound education in a safe and comfortable teaching environment.”
He said that the SAMCT was ‘delighted to be afforded the opportunity to step into the breach.’ The
charitable organisation’s injection of more than R300 000 towards the two new mobile Grade R
classroom and equipment ensures a better quality of early childhood education and a greatly
improved environment for both teachers and learners at the needy school.
Mr Chohan also acknowledged the school support work undertaken by the Gifted Hope Foundation,
which was making a huge difference throughout Carrington Primary School.
“We feel that our intervention will assist learners to truly reach their developmental potential,” Mr
The SAMCT was established in 2008 to provide funding, services and other resources for numerous
deserving organisations and the associated upliftment of the lives of South Africa’s deprived,
poverty-stricken and historically disadvantaged communities – irrespective of race or religion.
“In view of our mandate, we are extremely pleased to have had the opportunity to play a role in
assisting Carrington Primary School and its young learners,” Mr Chohan said.