Parents take a stand against dilapidated schools

Grade R parents at the Kwetse Primary School in Buyelani have expressed their dissatisfaction with the conditions that their children are expected to study in.

Speaking to NewsHorn the Chairperson of the School Governing Body (SGB),   Thabitha Ndobeni, said  the school was not ready for Grade R learners to return.

“There are not enough toilets and most of the classes are in a dilapidated state including the fact that there are not enough classrooms any.

One of the toilet that learners are expected to use

She added that Parents are scared that learners would infect each other.

Most parents made it clear it clear that until the broken toilets at the school had been repaired, they would not send their children back to school.

“We asked the provincial government to intervene, but our request fell on deaf ears, because all the furniture, including the structure, is still the property of the Limpopo government.

“Parents approached us that they will not allow teaching at the school to continue until the school is fixed and abides with the Covid-19 regulations,” Ndobeni said.

Ceiling falling off from the roof

She added that they had no choice but to listen to these grievances to protect their children.

“Teachers at the school are forced to use and share broken toilets with the learners.

Ndobeni, further alluded that the toilets could fall apart at any time. “The toilets could fall at any time, but the worst part of it is that they are already full as they are not working and the smell is unbearable.  “Grade R classes do not have chairs and are forced to sit on the floor in this cold weather. We are pleading to our government to come and visit our school so that they can see that the school is not ready to receive learners,” she told NewsHorn.

Upon visiting the school, NewsHorn found that certain sections of the ceiling falling off, the desks were rotting.

One of the parents protesting at the school gate told NewsHorn that they would make sure the school gate stayed closed until the Education Department intervened.

“They expect our kids to come back to a situation like this, we will make sure that learning at this school is disrupted until something is done. We are aware that the school management including the SGB wrote to the circuit and provincial departments on several occasions but they ignored them,” said Nomthadazo Sibiya, who is one of the parents.

Meanwhile, parents in Lowville also decided to keep their children at home claiming that the school in the area is not ready to receive more learners in lower grades. They insisted that their children need to study in a clean and safe environment especially during the pandemic.

According to the MEC of the Department of Education in Mpumalanga, Bonakele Majuba, said he was satisfied and pleased with the management of the phasing in of grades R,6 and 11 learners in almost all the schools in the Province.

“Regrettably, 153 schools had been broken into or vandalised since the start of the Lockdown. As many as 77 of these schools needed to be fixed and the Department decided to increase the maintenance allocation to these schools.

“The affected schools were informed to quantify the damages and send quotations of the value of the damages to the Department,” he said.

According to Majuba, this would accelerate the process to fix the schools and is working with the Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport to accelerate processes to fix the affected schools.

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