By Libuseng Nyaka
INTABAZWE – The days of arriving late at school and unable to concentrate due to fatigue from walking an average of 5 km to school daily are over for 308 pupils from six schools in Intabazwe township near Harrsimth.
This after the pupils from six schools received bicycles, reflectors and helmets from the department of police and transport on Monday this week, to enable them to travel faster.
One of the recipients, Bonginkosi Neala, a grade 10 learner at Mphophoma who travels 14km from Van Reenafarm to his school, has described the gift from the department as a relief that will go a long a way towards boosting his studies.
“This is a relief. We will be able to arrive at school on time and still full of energy that we need to concentrate in class.”
He said before receiving bicycles he used to wake up before dawn to avoid arriving to school late.
“I used to walk 14km from home to school every day. This impaired by concentration in class as I would be fatigued. This bicycle will help me a lot.”
Pulamadiboho Primary School teacher, Nana Gumede, said the bicycles are a much needed intervention which comes at a time when learners are sitting for final examinations.
Schools that received bicycles are Nhlakanipho, Vulindlela, Mphophoma, Pulamadiboho, Sentabale and Qhubeka.
Speaking at handing over ceremony, the director of public transport, Gugulethu Thabethe said the recipients were selected according to their age and distance they travel to school.
“The priority was always learners from rural areas. MEC KweKwe Bulwane’s intention was for learners to arrive at school on time. These bicycles belong to respective schools.
“We were targeting the age of nine years, while also taking into consideration the height of a learner. We were also careful to give preference to those in areas that do not have scholar transport.
“These bicycles are meant to be used by learners to travel to school. No one else is allowed to use them. Each bicycle has a serial number to enable us to trace it if stolen or misused.”
The communications director of the department, Hillary Mophethe, said it is important for learners to observe and comply with the traffic regulations to avoid road accidents.
“They have already been taught the safe way of bicycle riding. Each learner has a repair tool kit and we will always come to the schools to educate them.”