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Overcrowded schools accuse government of broken promises – The Citizen



  • More than a thousand parents and learners brought Mqanduli’s rural town, near Mtha, to an end last week.
  • They are demanding that the Eastern Cape Department of Education rebuild two schools.
  • Schools are overcrowded and classrooms are not safe and conducive to learning.

More than a thousand parents and learners brought the rural town of Mqanduli, near Mthatha, to a close this week, blocking roads with tires and burning rocks. They are demanding that the Eastern Cape Department of Education rebuild two new schools – Pangindela Junior Secondary School and Holomisa Senior Secondary School.

On Wednesday, protesters were scattered in groups across town, burning coins and forcing vehicles to find alternative routes. We have seen video footage of Mthatha police using rubber bullets and stun grenades believed to disperse protesters.

Parents are alleging that the Department is in breach of promises made since 2016 to demolish existing schools and build new brick and mortar schools. They also claim that the delays are politically motivated and the schools named after them, and that they are in the hometown of UDM leader Bantu Holomisa and Chief Patekile Holomisa.

When GroundUp visited the schools, the classrooms were crowded with at least 80 learners in most of the rooms we saw. Learners were being taught under a tree because of the dire situation in some of the classes. Other issues include leaks and broken roofs, walls, floors, windows and doors. The learner toilets were also old and faulty.

Mandisa Dlutu says it does not help teaching 112 grade 2 learners in a crowded and cumbersome mud classroom.Photos: Mkhuseli Sizani

At Holomisa Senior High School, Principal Pumla Guqa said the school was built in 1972 with eight brick classrooms. The department provided five additional prefabricated classes and the school was awarded staff rooms, but these are now weathered and falling apart.

The school currently has 1,029 learners and 12 classrooms. It uses a six – pit toilet for girls, five for boys and two toilets for staff.

Guqa said the Coega Development Trust visited the school with contractors in 2016. Land near Mqanduli Stadium has been identified as the site of the new school, she said. She said a delegation of politicians visited again in 2020 and said nothing could be done about the pandemic restrictions but promised more temporary classrooms for the school until construction could begin in 2022. So far no something done, Guqa said.

She said because there are not enough safe classrooms for learners, the school is still using the rotation system. “This affects our motherhood as learners only come in twice a week. We also do tree classes to get on with the work. ” She said this was reflected in the master’s pass rate which fell from over 80% between 2016 and 2018 to 59% in 2019 and 69% in 2021.

Ongeziwe Mtirara, a 15-year-old grade learner, said, “We want to be in school every day but we can’t because we don’t have classrooms. It is also not nice to study under the tree. It is cold and windy. On rainy days wash the chalk on the board off. Loud music from the taxi rank bothers us. ”

Amanda Gangca teaches learners about a tree about classroom shortages at Holomisa Senior High School in Mqanduli.
Photos: Mkhuseli Sizani

At Phangindlela Junior Secondary School, Principal Lungiswa Noah told GroundUp that the Provincial Department also promised them a new school in 2016. She said a delegation of officials from the provincial, provincial education and infrastructure departments as well as Chief Executive Patekile Holomisa visited the school and she did. the promise, but nothing has been done yet.

The school has 1,020 learners from grades R to 9.

“All our classrooms are overcrowded. We have less than 90 learners per class. Our mud school was built by the community in 1935 and now has 11 falling out classrooms. In grade 4 we have 126 learners in one classroom, 126 learners in grade 5 and in grade 8 there are 147 learners, ”she said.

“These conditions do not help learning and teaching. Toilets are dirty. The learners release themselves on the floor and outside the toilets. ”

Mandisa Dlutu has been teaching at the school since 2002. “Our school is in crisis. Cave the ceilings while we teach. In 2003 I went around asking for donations to build three more classrooms after several fruitless attempts by the Department, ”she said.

Dlutu said she is no longer able to fulfill her duties as a music and sports educator due to workload.

The parents and residents have given the department until next month to give them timeframes for building the schools. Protesters say the department promised to respond on May 4 and provide Holomisa Senior High School with five additional prefabricated classrooms.

Malibongwe Mtima of the Department has not yet answered our questions.

This article was first published on GroundUp and republished with permission. Read the original article here

Overcrowded schools accuse government of broken promises – The Citizen Source link Overcrowded schools accuse government of broken promises – The Citizen

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