SAMCT Widens Boland
School’s Horizons With R541 000 Vehicle Donation
Learners at a financially-challenged Paarl, Cape Town, school deprived of educational excursions and trips to sporting and cultural events for the past three years following the demise of the old official school vehicle, will again be able to broaden their horizons, thanks to the donation of a 20-seater vehicle, valued at R541 000.
Al-Azhar Institute, established in 1998 with just 31 learners, today provides an education for 350 learners – many of whom come from severely disadvantaged backgrounds – from Grade R through to Grade 12 under exceptionally trying financial circumstances.
The donation was made by the South African Muslim Charitable Trust (SAMCT).
Presenting the school with its new vehicle recently, Mr Faried Boltman, a representative of the SAMCT, commented: “We all realise and readily accept that every South African child has the right to a fit and proper education. However, we tend to pay little heed to the monumental effort required by schools serving primarily historically disadvantaged young learners to actually provide their young charges with a basic education… let alone achieve excellence, and yet, this school does just that. It provides its learners with a secular, as well as an Islamic education and manages to bring out the very best in its learners in spite of its and their enormous financial challenges.”
Al-Azhar Institute has overcome seemingly insurmountable barriers, racking up 100% pass rates, being ranked within the top 12 schools in the Boland, excelling in sport and topping spelling competitions in recent years.
“It is testimony to the absolute dedication to and passion for education displayed by the Principal and staff of this modest school that it has – on numerous occasions – risen up and overcome challenge after challenge, never faltering in the quest to provide quality education, excellent sporting facilities and the opportunity for each and every one of its learners to receive a well- balanced education. However, it is clear that the school has battled for some little time to overcome its transport hurdle,” said Mr Boltman.
Vehicles, especially those of a size required by schools, are exceptionally expensive and generally beyond the means of South Africa’s many financially-challenged schools.
“Having transport infrastructure is vital for learner connectivity with the world outside the classroom… attending sporting and cultural events and undertaking educational excursions in the wider environment forms a vital component of the overall educational mix today. It is for this reason that the SAMCT was only too pleased to come to the aid of Al-Azhar Institute, providing the funding required to once again put this educational institution on the road, on the basis that we regard school transport to be an indispensable necessity,” Mr Boltman said.
SAMCT’s provision of a school vehicle resolves for Al-Azhar Institute another challenge, enabling the educational institution to pay its full attention to its core responsibility, educating those in its care.
Mr Boltman said that the SAMCT had been created in 2008, the result of a partnership between Old Mutual Unit Trusts and Al Baraka Bank for the creation, marketing and distribution of a suite of Shariah Funds. Such partnership ensures that the SAMCT is the beneficiary of this Shariah suite of funds in order to provide funding, services and other resources for the improvement of the lives of the vulnerable, deprived and disadvantaged. The organisation has been singularly successful in delivering sizeable assistance solutions throughout South Africa – irrespective of race or religion – and continues to work to support needy organisations in the fields of health, social development, poverty alleviation and education.
“I would hope that our humble contribution will make a significant difference to all those at Al-Azhar Institute – staff and learners alike – and in officially presenting you with this vehicle, we wish you well and trust that it will assist in your reaching new educational horizons,” he concluded.
For more information about SAMCT or
Al Azhar Institute ;Boland, Paarl, donation, please contact:
Social Responsibility Officer Tel: 084 506 2280