FORMER Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga once told parliamentary starkly that, "there are over 3 million children who do not have school desks and are forced to use the ground as a writing surface”.
Unfortunately, the black child is at the receiving end of this never ending problem in SA.
No matter how bad and heartbreaking it is -in our new democratic dispensation- there are human beings out there who are striving to make a difference such as the DeskBags Organization.
In partnership with the one of the world’s youth popular brand’s Converse, they’ve donated 1500 deskless to leaners in Diepsloot, worth half a million of rands in DeskBags.
Recipients were Diepsloot Secondary Number 3 School and Diepsloot Combine School, respectively.
Both schools learners are forced to do their schoolwork on the cold, hard floor or to share a single desk with about five other students at a time.
“It is only through the support of corporate South Africa, such as Converse SA, which enables DeskBags to be deployed to poverty-stricken areas in the sort of quantity that could make a difference in the lives of all these needy students,” says Managing Director at DeskBags, Shannon Roscher.
DeskBags provides hybrid satchels that double as school bags and portable desks when folded open onto the child’s lap. The front flap of the bags is reinforced with ABS plastic, ensuring a hard and stable surface for children to use and to write on while doing their work at school and homework at home.
They are rugged enough that, when well looked after, can last a pupil many years. They have been constructed using recycled billboard materials making the bags tough and waterproof, yet light enough to be carried even by a Grade 0 student.
DeskBags are also reflective which make school learners visible when walking along busy roads.
“DeskBags are aimed at enabling underprivileged South African students to have access to a basic education tool such as a portable desk allowing them to develop to their fullest potential.
The lack of a desk as a writing surface puts these underprivileged learners at an immediate disadvantage as it affects their handwriting, concentration, eyesight and most noticeably, their overall academic performance,” continued Roscher.
“As a company whose product appeals mostly to the youth market, we strive to partner with initiatives that assist local communities throughout South Africa. In the last few years we have donated nearly 5,000 DeskBags in Gauteng.
We love that the initiative allows these millions of deskless students to now learn with dignity,” says Converse Brand Manager, Lee-Anne McKenzie.
We hope with the new Minister of Education Mme Naledi Pandor, an academic, there will be action and radical changes in trying to alleviate but not (eradicate) such phenomenon’s our teachers and learners are proned to, albeit it won’t happen overnight.
For more information about DeskBags visit www.deskbags.co.za or contact them directly on firstname.lastname@example.org or 011 896 1818.