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Teacher buys her pupils school shoes

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Grade 5 learners at Letshego Primary were surprised and excited to find a shiny, new pair of shoes waiting for them when they returned to school yesterday.

GIFTED: Masechaba Josephine Mosiane, a Grade 5 teacher at Letshego Primary School, donated school shoes to all the children in her class, which she funded herself. Picture: Soraya Crowie

CHILDREN across the Northern Cape braved the cold weather yesterday morning for their first day back to school after the June holiday, but for the little ones in Grade 5 at Letshego Primary there was a surprise awaiting them – a brand new pair of school shoes for each child in teacher Masechaba Josephine Mosiane’s class.

Mosiane, who has been teaching for more than 30 years and is due to retire in two years time, decided that as her part of 67 Minutes for Mandela she was going to buy a brand new pair of school shoes for each of the pupils in her class.

“When I bought the 40 pairs of shoes from Bata, they gave me an additional 10 pairs, which I could hand out to other needy children,” a delighted Mosiane said yesterday. “It was a surprise for the children and they were so excited.”

Mosiane said yesterday that she decided to buy the school shoes after promises from various sectors for school shoes had not materialised. “We have been asking so long for sponsors and promises have been made, but at the end of the day nothing materialises and the children are so disappointed. So, I decided that as my parting gift I wanted to give each child in my class a pair of shoes.”

Mosiane said she had also tried to organise uniforms for those children who didn’t have by encouraging pupils who left the school to go to high school, to donate their uniforms.

“It is very painful as a teacher to watch as children come to school barefoot or with broken shoes, or clothes that are dirty or torn and without a uniform. It just breaks one’s heart. Our school has some of the poorest of the poor in Galeshewe – some of the little ones are orphans while others live with their grannies and are dependant on the social grants they receive.”

Trained in the North West as a teacher, Mosiane said she loved children and loved teaching them.

“I particularly love life skills, because that is where children learn about life. They always open up and tell me their stories – I really love that.

“On a Monday, I ask them if they have been to church to try encourage them to go. It hurts so much if they tell me they don’t have a church and then I tell them to go to any church, the one closest to where they live. Then on a Monday, they tell me about the message they heard at church – it is important because this is how they learn to share with others who don’t have.”

Mosiane added, however, that the hardest part of teaching is when there are family problems.

“Sometimes you ask a child what is wrong and they just cry because they don’t want to say anything. Other times they stay away from school and we have to go and talk to the mother. There are times that the mother will tell you that everything is fine but you can see that it is not. It is very hard when you see what some children have to go through.

“But yesterday was a wonderful day – it was such a big surprise for the children and they were so happy. Yesterday, I could do my 67 minutes for Mandela and I was so happy.”