ZUMA TOUCHED BY SCHOOL VISIT
June 10, 2010  

Supplied by Website Administrator from francesvorwergschool
Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma was deeply moved during his visit to the Frances Vorwerg School in Johannesburg on Wednesday when a boy gave him R10 and asked him to give it to a poor child.
Jacob Zuma

Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma was deeply moved during his visit to the Frances Vorwerg School in Johannesburg on Wednesday when a boy gave him R10 and asked him to give it to a poor child.

"Paul (Jarvis) took out some coins of up to R10 from his pocket, he gave it to me and said 'give it to a poor child'," Zuma told pupils at the special needs school in Haddon, south of Johannesburg.

He visited the school to mark the end of the term as schools close for a month for the World Cup.

Jarvis, an orphan, had a dream of bringing Zuma to the school for the disabled, and gave his teacher a hard time demanding this happen.

"He is aware that there is a child out there who is in need. I said I will find the child and add a bit of my money to his," Zuma said.

Zuma arrived to song, dance and the sound of vuvuzelas as staff sang his praises.

Decorated with soccer balls

The school hall walls were decorated with soccer balls, the national flag and a welcome message for the president.

Zuma held a short meeting with the school principal Louis van Wyk, Jarvis and the school governing body to hear about the school's problems.

Some of the difficulties included funding electrical wheelchairs and learning programmes suitable for the children's special needs.

The school has 360 pupils of which 48 were housed at a school hostel.

"I am happy I came to this school, but I have been told that there are numbers of kids with special needs who are sitting at home," Zuma said.

"I'll be meeting with the minister of education and the minister of social development and other departments to discuss how to work together to solve these problems."

Eye-opener

His visit to the school was an eye-opener and while many South Africans were celebrating the World Cup, many disabled people had no access to education, he said.

Passionate about education, Zuma promised to devise a strategy to address the problems faced by the school.

"Since Paul is an assertive guy, maybe he can organise that I come here," he said.

Zuma's visit to the school had a more profound meaning to the parents and the community.

"His coming here shows that he has the heart for the community," said teacher Rista Roux.

Special moment

The memory of Zuma's visit, Roux said was the first in history and it would remain a special moment for the pupils even when they were older.

"This will be kept in a special chamber of the children's heart," Van Wyk remarked.

Parent Johan Mentz said Zuma was the only reason his child, Janus, came to school on Wednesday.

"We did not believe that the president could come here," he said.

Zuma, who was subject to an interview by 11-year-old Jarvis, thanked the school for hosting him.

Clearly tired from "diski dancing" and singing the World Cup anthem Waka Waka, Zuma said: "Thank you to the principal for allowing Paul to dream, for allowing his dream to come true".


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