Residents help learners commute safely

Local residents are lending a hand to a school to help learners commute safely.

Most of the South Peninsula High School learners reportedly travel long distances.

The school realised that the narrow Old Kendal Road, where their scholar transport drops off the learners, is a safety risk. Staff started taking turns helping the learners.

They wait outside and control traffic and help learners cross safely.

Then three residents, members of the local neighbourhood watch, noticed the selfless gesture and joined in.

Although they do not partake daily, watch member Carolus New says protecting a child is everyone’s responsibility.

New commends the school’s efforts but says motorists could become impatient with the process, hence the watch members joined in.

“Because our road is small, sometimes there is traffic congestion in front of the school as buses stop there for a while when dropping and fetching the children. It becomes hectic and if nothing is done children could be at risk of getting hit by cars.”

She encourages parents and residents to not discriminate against children in their communities and to take the initiative to create a better environment for them.

School principal, Zeid Baker, expressed gratitude to the residents for their efforts. He explains that eight buses transport their learners on a daily basis.

Baker says the school has been implementing the system for years because to them, it is not only what they do inside the classroom that is important, but the health and safety of their learners as well.

He says the majority of the learners travel from suburbs such as Manenberg, Lavender Hill, Parkhood, Grassy Park and Mitchell’s Plain.

“Because the school has a rich history, former learners whose families were forcefully removed from neighbouring communities to the poor areas during the years of apartheid still send their children and grandchildren to the school, resulting in most of our learners being dependent on transport.”

However, he says the school is aware that the process is regarded as an inconvenience by some residents and motorists using the road around the time when school starts and ends.

“We urge everyone to be patient with us as the process only takes about 10 minutes.”