Wind farm boosts school’s numbers… in more ways than one
15 May 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201914560
FOLLOWING an extended period in which Templeton High School in Bedford was without a single mathematics teacher, Cookhouse Wind Farm lent a hand to fund this crucial teaching post. Three years later, the school has three maths teachers and is excited about the increased uptake of this essential subject.
“After not having a maths teacher for two years, many of the learners were discouraged and did not want to take the subject. This year however, we have nearly doubled the number of learners who are choosing maths as a subject. We’ve been working hard to try and rectify the backlog that was created while we had no maths teacher and we are so relieved to finally be seeing a difference,” said Principal Jonathan Plaatjies.
Gideon Williams began teaching at the school at the end of 2016, filling this temporary teaching post, which was funded by the wind farm. He is still teaching at the school, after being appointed full time in 2018 by the Department of Education. He is responsible for Grade 6 and 7 Mathematics and Maths Literacy to Grade 10 and 12 learners and the school is seeing an increased interest in the subject amongst learners.
“Maths is such an important subject and there is often a shortage of teachers, a situation that is aggravated by our rural location, as many teachers prefer a city environment,” said Plaatjies.
Apart from funding the temporary teaching post the wind farm more recently provided funding for grass cutting equipment to assist in the school’s general maintenance and, in particular, the sports fields.
“This type of funding is so important to us because as a school, we just can’t afford to pay all the salaries. We are in a poor community and many of the learners struggle to pay any school fees,” Plaatjies said.
As part of their social economic development programme, Cookhouse Wind Farm responds to the educational needs of the local primary and high schools in Adelaide, Bedford, Cookhouse and Somerset East, from funding of educator salaries to the establishment of computer labs and equipment.