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Published:  2015-03-11 Views:  1191
Author:  Fanie
Published in:  Harties Heritage/Erfenis
HOEV / HEHA Artikel 10: Scheerpoort Skool En Gedenktekens

HOEV: OPNAME VAN BESIENSWAARDIGHEDE                   Nr 010

HEHA: SURVEY OF HERITAGE SITES                                      No 010

 

SKEERPOORTSKOOL EN GEDENKTEKENS:

DATUM 1914

SAEA BESKERMING (60jr) ja

VERKLAAR nee. GELYS nee

GPS data:X 27.46.01 Y –25.47.36

SCHEERPOORT 477JQ.

PAD P 123-1.

EIENAAR / KONTAKPERSOON:  (012-2071113)

 

Die skool in 2002.                                                                     Skeerpoort school in 2002.

 

Die eerste skooltjie in Skeerpoort was op die oorspronklike eienaar, Voortrekker, Willem Joubert, se plaas. Dit was ‘n losstaande klei-klip-grasdakgeboutjie wat vir die doel van ‘n skool in die vroeë 1840’er jare opgerig is. Dit het twee klein houtvensters en ‘n deur gehad en is as uiters geskik vir 15 tot 20 leerlinge beskou.

 

Willen Joubert het naby die walle van die Magaliesrivier op ‘n gelykte aan die voet van ‘n randjie vir hom ‘n woonhuis gebou. Uit die Skeerpoortrivier het hy ‘n watervoor, die “Ondervoor” genoem gegrawe en ‘n wingerd, ‘n populierbos en landerye daaruit besproei. Daar was ook ‘n watermeule in die voor en, ongelukkig naby die skool, ‘n stookketel om die druiwe verder te “verwerk”. Die onderwysers het dus gereeld hulle sopies hier kon bekom. Een van hulle, ‘n mnr Dragt, het dikwels te veel sopies weggesit en dan moes die kinders die gevolge dra. Die kinders het egter ook hulle drinkwater uit die voor gekry en daar was ook ‘n wasdam waarin hulle kon swem.

 

In 1882 het die destydse Direkteur van Onderwys, S J du Toit, die vader van die digter Totius, die skooltjie besoek en in sy verslag soos volg geskryf: ”Ik vond dat 27 leerlingen degelijk onderwesen werden in alle vakken van lager onderwijs.” Mnr P Genis was die hoof en die inspekteur wat die skool besoek het, het ook in 1882 geskryf: ”Lokaal en meubilair voldoende. Zingen uit Kinderharp, Psalmen en Gezangen zeer goed. Bijbelgeschiedenis, schryven en rekenene zeer goed. Ook Catechisatie en Zondagschool worden gehouden in verband met deze school.”

 

Toe die inspekteur, T C Stoffberg, baie jare later in 1895 die skool besoek het, moes toestande egter versleg het want nie een van die 24 leerlinge kon slaag nie. Net bybelgeskiedenis was nog goed maar Taalkunde en Rekenkunde was “zwak” en die onderwyser moes belowe om beter onderwys te gee. Gelukkig het dit dan ook werklik beter gegaan en die omgekrapte ouers kon bedaar.

 

In daardie jare was daar ‘n tweede skool in ‘n kamer van ‘n boerewoning naby die “Bovoor” waar die NG kerk vandag staan. In 1893 was mnr C C Grevelink die hoof van hierdie skool en sy kwekeling-dogter, “de jonge juffer C Grevelink” was sy assistent. Daar was 42 leerlinge, dus meer as in die “Ondervoorskool”. Die ruimte was egter net groot genoeg vir 30 en daar is toe maar in twee sessies skoolgehou.

 

Tydens die Anglo-Boereoorlog (1899-1902) is onderrig in beide skooltjies gestaak, maar na die oorlog in 1903 was Skeerpoort se “Ondervoorskool” waarvan die gebou afgebrand is, die eerste skool in die Transvaal wat met ‘n tentskool geopen het. Naby die plek waar die skool vandag staan is twee groot markiestente opgeslaan en miss M J Hay was “Head Mistress”. Sy was van Nieuw-Zeeland en het in Durban in die konsentrasiekamp begin skoolhou. Na die oorlog word sy en ‘n miss Ladley met ‘n Rooikruis-wa na Skeerpoort gestuur om die kinders te probeer verengels volgens die Milner-beleid. Na hulle het nog ander engelstalige onderwyseresse, o. a. Dobson en Devenish gevolg maar die kinders wou nie verengels nie. Miss Ladley het met ‘n plaaslike inwoner, Piet Joubert, getrou en is nooit weer terug na Nieuw-Zeeland nie. Sy het egter ook nooit leer Afrikaans praat nie!

 

Die tentskool van 1903.                                                         The 1903 tent school.

 

Intussen het die Afrikaners oor die hele land as ‘n teenvoeter vir die engelstalige goewermentskole die sogenaamde Christelike Nasionale Onderwys of CNO-skole gestig waarvan daar in Skeerpoort ook een was in die plek van die “Bovoorskool”. Mettertyd het die regering ingesien dat die verengelsing net op weerstand en konfrontasie afstuur en daar is dus afgesien van die beleid. Hierdeur is die samewerking van die CNO-skole gekry en het hulle met die Goewermentskole saamgesmelt. Dit het ook in Skeerpoort gebeur: “..this school has agreed to work together as one Committee and there seems to be every probability that within short time a new school will be built large enough for all children on the farm.” Let wel, Skeerpoort was nog nie as ‘n dorp gesien nie maar as ‘n plaas. Mnre Joubert en Horn het ‘n stuk grond geskenk vir die nuwe skool. In 1907 is die tentskool deur ‘n sinkgebou vervang en die twee skole het saamgesmelt. Die hoof was ‘n Afrikaanssprekende, ene Botha.

 

Met Uniewording in 1910 word mnr Mazijk hoof en mej Bothma begin met ‘n losieshuis in die sinkgeboutjie. Vanaf 1911 word Engels in die skooljoernaal deur Hollands vervang, dus ‘n stap agteruit wat Milner se beleid betref. In daardie jare het boere, en dit was feitlik die hele gemeenskap van Skeerpoort, gereeld Juniemaand na die bosveld getrek vir winterweiding en jag. Dan keer hulle eers so teen Augustus terug. Dit het natuurlik die skoolbesoek belemmer en die onderwysers het baie daaroor gekla. In 1912 het waterpokkies uitgebreek wat die skool feitlik lamgelê het. Daar was ‘n poging om Remhoogte se skool in 1912 te laat saamsmelt maar die ouers wou nie saamwerk nie weens die lang afstande. Net ‘n paar leerlinge het wel vanaf Remhoogte by Skeerpoort aansluit.

 

In 1914 staan daar in die joernaal: ”De school heden bezocht door Hare Excellentie, Lady Buxton, Miss Buxton en mnr Adamson, de Direkteur van Onderwijs. De heer Adamson geeft de kinderen vakantie op 20 Oktober 1914.”  Die rebellie breek ook in 1914 uit en die skoolhoof rapporteer: “Burgermagten zijn in die nabijheid…Vele vaders van skoolgaande kinderen hebben zich aangesloten by Gnl Beyers. Dientengevolgen worden kinderen behouden om veldarbeid te verrichten.”

 

Maar in 1914 word ook die nuwe siersteenskoolgeboue opgerig in die ontwerp van die sogenaamde “Milnerskole”. Dit is tans een van die oudste skole van hierdie ontwerp in ons omgewing. Die digter, C Louis Leipoldt was ’n mediese inspekteur van skole in Transvaal. Hy het die skool in 1917 besoek.  In 1920 het die skool tot standerd 9 (graad 11) onderrig en is die sinkgeboue as houtwerkklasse gebruik.

 

Die sinkgebou wat die tent in 1907 vervang het. Die kinders lyk heel vrolik met hulle outydse kleredrag, hoedens, kappies, mandjies en opgerolde broekspype.

 

This corrugated iron building replaced the tent in 1907. The children look cute in their old fashioned dress.

 

 

In 1921 word mnr H A Alberts assistent en later skoolhoof vir baie jare. In daardie jaar word Hollands deur Afrikaans as voertaal vervang.

 

Daar is twee gedenkstene op die skool se gronde. Die een steen se opskrif lees:

 

“Ter gedagtenis van Kommandant-Generaal A W J Pretorius, Boer, Trekker, Leier, Krygsman, Staatsman. Opgerig deur ‘n paar dankbare burgers. Hier op Grootplaas geboer, oorlede en begrawe. Later opgegrawe en te Pretoria met ‘n Staatsbegrafnis weer ter aarde bestel.”

 

Op die koperplaat staan verder

 

”Gedenksteen opgerig deur dankbare inwoners uit die moot op 10 Desember 1949.” Oorspronklike fondamentklippe uit Kommandant-Generaal Andries Pretorius se woonhuis op Grootplaas vorm deel van die bouwerk.”

(Let wel: Die plaashuis in afgebreek toe Hartbeespoortdam gebou is, want dit het onder water gekom.)

 

Die ander steen lees:

 

“Hierdie steen is opgerig ter herinnering aan die Republiekwording op 31 Mei 1961. Onthul deur Mnr N van der Westhuizen (Hoof) namens die skool en Mnr F Wolmarans (Oud-stryder) namens die Republiek op 31 Mei 1961. Geskenk deur C B Allen.”

 

In 1962 is ‘n skoolsaal opgerig, moontlikgemaak deur fondsinsameling deur die gemeeenskap.

 

 

SKEERPOORT SCHOOL AND MONUMENTS:

DATE 1914

SAHRA PROTECTION (60yr) yes

DECLARED MONUMENT no. LISTED no

GPS data: X 27.46.01 Y –25.47.36

SCHEERPOORT 477JQ.

ROAD P 123-1

OWNER / CONTACT PERSON: (012-2071113)

 

The first school in Skeerpoort was situated on the farm of the Voortrekker, Willem Joubert. It was a small, free standing building made of clay walls with thatched roof, and was built in the 1840’s. It boasted two small windows and a door and was considered eminently suitable for 15 to 20 pupils.

 

Joubert’s farmhouse stood on a level site below the hill near the Skeerpoort River. He built a furrow (“die ondervoor”) from the river to irrigate his vineyards, farmlands and small wood of poplars. There was also a water mill in the furrow and – unfortunately near the school – a “stookketel” (still) to process the grapes. Teachers from the school could regularly “refresh” themselves between the lessons. One of them, a certain mr Dragt, unfortunately “refreshed” himself far too often and his pupils had to suffer the consequences! A positive side to the proximity of the furrow was that pupils could easily obtain drinking water and could even swim in places.

 

When in 1882 the director of Education, S J du Toit (father of the poet, Totius) visited the school he reported (original in Dutch): “27 pupils are being taught diligently in all subjects of primary education.” The inspector reported the same year: (in Dutch) “ Site and building satisfactory. Singing from “kinderharp”, psalms and hymns very good. Sunday school and catechism classes are held at the school.” The headmaster, mr D Genis, was understandably pleased with the report.

Circumstances must have deteriorated considerably some time afterwards because in 1895 when inspector T C Stoffberg paid a visit to the school he failed every single one of the 24 pupils! Scripture was the only satisfactory subject with language and writing “poor”, the teacher having to promise to teach more diligently.

 

In those days there was a second school in one of the rooms of a farmer’s house near the “bovoor” or upper furrow (Where the NG Church is situated at present.) in 1893 the principal of this school was mr C C Grevelink and his daughter was assistant teacher. There were 42 pupils, (more than in the “ondervoor” school) but conditions were extremely cramped. The schoolroom could accommodate only 30, so two sessions had to be held.

 

Teaching came to an abrupt halt during the South African War 1899-1902. The first school in addition was burnt down so in 1903 it was replaced with the first tented school in the then “Transvaal Colony”! Two big marquees were erected near the site of the present school and in accordance with Lord Milner’s post-war policy; English-speaking teachers were imported to anglicise Afrikaans-speaking children. Miss M J Hay and her assistant, miss Ladley, came from New Zealand and were transported in a Red Cross wagon from Durban (where miss Hay had taught at the concentration camp).

Enkele verbeterings wat aan die skool aangebring is sedert die vorige foto: Die stoeppilare het bo skuinsverstewigings teen die balk. Daar is ook ‘n geut en afvoerpyp en die oostevenster is deur ‘n ventilasieluik met hortjies vervang, moontlik in ‘n poging om die binnetemperatuur ietwat draagliker te maak.

 

Some improvements have been done to the building since the previous photograph was taken: The stoep pillars got diagonal supports to strut the beam, and gutters with down pipes were added. The window in the eastern wall was replaced with a ventilation opening with louvers to let out some of the hot air.

 

The anglicising of the pupils was a dismal failure even though the two teachers and their successors, misses Dobson and Devenish tried hard. (Miss Ladley married a local lad, Piet Joubert, but never learnt to speak Afrikaans. A keen photographer, miss Ladley, “aunt Molly” took many interesting photos of the old days.)

 

 

Afrikaans-speaking parents didn’t take the anglicising efforts of the government lying down and established Christian National Education Schools (CNO) throughout the country. One of these was the “Bovoorskool” or Upper Furrow School. The government eventually realised that their anglicising efforts ended in resistance and confrontation so this policy was abandoned. The next step was amalgamation of government with CNO schools. And so it was in Skeerpoort: “This school agreed to work together as one committee and there seems to be every probability that within a short time, a new school will be built, for all the children of the farm.”  Skeerpoort at the time was regarded as a farm not a town!

 

Messrs Joubert and Horn donated a piece of land for a new school and in 1907 the tent school was replaced by a corrugated iron building, which effectively united the two previous schools. The first principal was an Afrikaner, mr Botha. Mr Mazijk succeeded him in 1910 at the time of Union. English was replaced with Dutch in the school journal of 1921.

 

Because Skeerpoort was (and is still) largely a farming community school attendance was often adversely affected when children had to help with the harvesting or accompanying their families to the Bushveld for winter grazing from June to August. In addition in 1911 there was an outbreak of smallpox, which affected both teachers and pupils. Periodic floods and even a snowstorm in 1917 made roads impassable and played havoc with school attendance.

 

In 1912 an attempt was made to consolidate the schools of Remhoogte and Skeerpoort. This came to nought due to distances involved but resulted in a few children joining Skeerpoort.

 

The school journal records a visit to the school in 1914 by Lady Buxton (wife of the Governor-General) and mr Adamson, Director of Education. Much to the pupils’ delight a school holiday was proclaimed for 20 October. 1914 also saw the Rebellion against the government, the principal recording the proximity of troops. Once again, school attendance was adversely affected when boys whose fathers had joined General Beyers had to work on the farmlands.

 

In 1914 the present brick buildings were built to a design already accepted during the Milner regime and therefore style “Milner Schools”.  Skeerpoort is one of the oldest of these schools in the area.

 

The poet, C Louis Leipoldt was a medical inspector of schools in the Transvaal and visited the school in 1917. His report makes interesting reading, not least of which is the fact that certain parents refused to have their offspring examined! By 1920 classes had extended to include standard 9 (grade 11). The old corrugated iron building was now used for woodwork classes.

 

In 1921 mr H A Alberts joined the school as teacher and later principal for many years. During those years Afrikaans replaced Dutch as medium for instruction.

 

There are two memorials in the school grounds. One is to Andries Pretorius and is made of foundation stones of his farmhouse that is now under the water of the Hartbeespoort dam. The other commemorates the establishment of the Republic of South Africa in 1961.

 

Die skoolsaal in 2002.                                                                    The school hall in 2002.

 

The design of the school hall is an early work of local architect, Albrecht Holm. It was funded by the Skeerpoort community and completed in 1962.


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