A GOOD Samaritan restored hope for Parkside Primary School by repairing the vandalised ablution facilities and plumbing over the weekend, allowing pupils to return to school last Monday.
Parkside was forced to close its doors earlier this month following vandalism and theft, leaving the school with no water or electricity and wrecked ablution facilities. Pupils were sent home for more than a week while staff and school governing body (SGB) members sought a quick fix to the problems crippling the school.
SGB chairman Thanduxolo Joseph Faku said earlier this month that it was unsafe to keep the children at a school where sanitation and hygiene standards could not be met.
“The thieves took taps and the water was flooding all over. The vandals broke all the toilets. The copper and wires that were stolen, were so small in value but the damage will cost us so much.”
Touched by the front page article in the August 11 edition of the GO! (Pupils sent home), good Samaritan Romano Phillips of MV Construction called Faku and visited the school to assess the situation Friday before last.
He and his construction workers spent the weekend repairing and replacing taps, pipes and fittings. By Monday, pupils were able to return to school with fully functioning ablutions.
“I admire the courage of this man who came out on Friday, worked until dark on Saturday and even returned on Sunday to restore water and ablution facilities. Our plumbing is now up to scratch and he even fixed other toilets with some leaks before the break-in.
“He heard about us through the article and wanted to help. He even replaced the copper joints and taps with plastic ones so there is nothing for thieves to steal,” Faku said.
Phillips said:“The situation really touched me and I decided to do something to give back. I sacrificed my Saturday and Sunday to do it, but it was all worthwhile.
”The East London Ministers’ Fraternal have also come out to help, donating funds to use towards fixing the broken down school.
Grade 7 teacher Gino Le-Keur said: “It will be difficult for us to make up for lost time. Children must not delay coming back to the classroom.
“I will spend half an hour extra every day after school to make up time and give extra homework. The parents have felt the inconvenience and pain in the process and we hope they will be more willing to assist with funds for night-time security.”
The school is also thankful for the donations of ear muffs and gloves from the nearby mosque which will help keep many pupils warmer this winter.