Mr Roland Benjamin Frans, the Principal of Klapmuts Primary School, was one of the 33 teachers who received an award for their dedication to nation building. He won the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for his 34 years of service at the school.
Klapmuts Primary is a Quintile 1, no fee school. It is located in the town of Klapmuts in the Western Cape and most of the learners are from the nearby informal settlement and towns. The community is underdeveloped and the more than 1000 learners receive child support grants.
Against all odds, Mr Frans, built a large and well-resourced school over the years. He did not allow the prevailing conditions to discourage him from serving his school and community. When he first became a teacher, there were no local teachers who taught in Klapmuts and the classrooms were in a poor condition, but that did not deter the highly ambitious Principal.
When Mr Frans was appointed school Principal 24 years ago, he ensured that some of the local community members were hired as assistant teachers by the school, and over the years secured qualified teachers and additional posts funded through the School Governing Body.
While some schools do not allow members of the public to use their facilities, at Klapmuts the computer lab is used by community members after school and the library is used as a nursery school. This is all done at no cost to the users.
It is this calibre of schools and community servants that Zenex is honoured to be associated with. It was through the Grade R Mathematics Project, an initiative of the Western Cape Education Department supported by the University of Cape Town’s Schools Development Unit, that Zenex was introduced to the school as Project co-funder.
Donors which include Maitri Trust, The ELMA Foundation, Investec Private Charitable Trust, Hosken Consolidated Investments Foundation and Anglo American Chairman’s Fund contributed to funding this Grade R Mathematics Project. The Project, implemented from 2016 to 2018, supported early Mathematics development.
In October 2018, Zenex Trustees and staff had the opportunity to visit the school and meet Mr Frans, and learned first-hand of the many ways he continues to serve the school and community selflessly.
They say hard work pays off and Mr Frans’ commitment and dedication makes the award a well-deserved recognition. When asked what motivated him, he said:
“I had a vision to create a culture where the community views the school as a beacon of hope, a lighthouse that provides guidance. Through partnerships and dedicated staff, our school boasts a fully-functional public library, complete with ICT resources accessible to all members of the community,” (Mail & Guardian, 2019).