Former pupils help build new school

Pottering around the building site are the former Crestway High School pupils, at back, Ryan Abraham Lewis, Blanche Lewis in the wheelbarrow, Yumnah Abdurahman pushing the wheelbarrow and Toni Rudolph.

A welcomed job opportunity has fallen into the laps of former Crestway High School pupils who have now been employed to work on the construction of the school’s new building.

The Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW) partnered with Haw and Inglis contractors to train the former pupils, who left school in different years, and prepare them to work on-site as the old prefabricated buildings get replaced by brick and mortar (“Crestway High gets make-over”, Southern Mail, August 8).

The former pupils started a two-week training course on Monday November 19.

Dawid Lottering, the head of training for health and safety for sub-contractor Pinpoint, said they were taught basic health and safety, how to work with construction resources, how to read a basic plan, how to dig a trench and how to build a small
wall.

Mr Lottering said they initially recruited 15 people but three dropped out.

Those who completed the training will receive a certificate which they can add to their CVs and they were expected to start on-site work on Monday December 3 after being employed by Haw and Inglis.

Mr Lottering said: “I was impressed by this group of students’ commitment and how they showed thanks for the opportunity they’ve received. Many of them are living below the breadline but they made an effort to
be here early at training until late.”

Community liaison officer Reginald Dirks, a parent of one of the current pupils, who is also known as the “daddy” of the group, said this job opportunity would keep these Cafda residents away from gangsterism and drugs.

“This job teaches them discipline and skills. I chose more women than men and they are working well together.”

Ilhaam Alexander, who left Crestway High in 1993, said
she handed in her CV to
Mr Dirks and she was happy to be one of the “chosen ones” to receive a much welcomed job opportunity.

She said she enjoyed working with her team of former Crestway High pupils.

“We are all living in Cafda but we never knew each other before. Now we are like family,” said Ms Alexander.

“I am also very happy to be part of building a new school and I would be able to tell my grandchildren that Ma helped build this school.”

Donna Bailey has been unemployed for a long time. She said before she got this job, she used to “scavenge for scrap” to recycle at the end of the day to put bread on the table.

“I am excited and happy,” said Ms Bailey.

Zunaid Charles, who was in the class of 2017, said he saw the notice about the job opportunity at one of the tuck shops so he contacted Mr Dirks.

Mr Charles said he enjoyed the training and would like to one day become a health and safety officer.

The new school building in Retreat is expected to be completed by September 2019.