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other schools

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Other schools

MatjiesvleiAfter the opening of the first Calitzdorp school on Monday 21 December 1857,  little farm schools started emerging in outlying areas wherever a need could be matched with a teacher.

These schools included Warmwater school which opened in 1867 with 10 boys and 15 girls.  P J Lerm was their teacher.

Huisrivier and Kraaldoorn schools opened in 1867 with 25 boys and 15 girls between them,  with G J Cloete as teacher.

Little schools opened and closed and at one time J H Rotman was reported to be running a school at Janfourieskraal with 35 students.

A teacher Koertzen was teaching at a school in Kruisrivier ‘in die Kango’.

In 1876 a spacious, neat buildings was erected in Janfourieskraal and Warmwater for church and school purposes.

On the 10 November 1878 a church school was opened in Andrieskraal.

school near damwal now a church+wmIMG_2151By 1882 school buildings and teachers were provided at Gamka and Langverwag, with Kruisrivier school being built. At this time Groenfontein already had its own school.

Soon after this a start was made on the school at ‘Vleyplaats’

In 1905 it was reported that   ‘..in die gemeente ses nie-ondersteunde teenoor twaalf ‘Government’ ondersteunde skole is ‘ (in the community there are six unsupported as to twelve ‘Government’-supported schools)– the population had realized that private schools were less costly than government ones, and private schools were increasing in number.

Gamka-Oos school opened In 1915 and celebrated its centenary in 2015.  A proud achievement!

By 1918 there were outlying schools in Groenfontein, Buffelskloof, Buffelsjagsfontein, Gamka-Oos, Gamka-Wes, Huisrivier, Janfourieskraal, Kruisrivier-Wes, Uitvlug, Warmbad en Warmwater, along with the Juta and Reenen skool.

Clementina's school+wmAs the years passed many of the little schools closed down, and by 1968 the Calitzdorp School Council had only the following primary schools on its list –  Buffelskloof, Gamka-Oos, Gamka-Wes, Juta and Maree and the Warmwater farm school. Of these, Gamka-West closed down in 1973.

Few of these schools have survived in their original capacity, but many of their little mud-brick carcasses have been saved from destruction by imaginative restoration and rebirth as interesting and useful tourist attractions.

The old schoolhouse at Matjiesvlei  has for the last few years served as charming B & B accommodation.

Opposite Kraaldoring Gallery 11kms out of Calitzdorp on the Groenfontein road is the recently restored school building which is now a comfortable private home. It stands under huge gum trees which themselves have a history. Each tree was planted by a pupil of the school, and each tree was named after the child who planted it. Some names Roger Young gallery+wm IMG_2117are remembered, but sadly, not many of the original trees or names have survived.

The beautiful little Kruisrivier school, with its high vaulted hall ceiling, was long unused. It has been beautifully restored and now houses a photography and woodworking studio.

And there are others, converted into guest accommodation, churches and studios or workshops – all still serving a good purpose without being lost for ever.