Pupil takes school to court over poor conditions, settlement reached

2013-10-12 08:33

An agreement was reached between an Eastern Cape pupil, her school and the basic education department over poor conditions at the institution, Equal Education (EE) has said.

“A settlement agreement signed by the parties on the 12th of August 2013 and made into an order of the Bhisho High Court today [Friday], settles the matter,” it said in a statement.

EE said the Grade 11 pupil, Palesa Faith Manyokole, initiated legal proceedings against the Moshesh Senior Secondary School’s principal, its governing body, the provincial and national education departments, and Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

“Learners from the school first wrote to Equal Education in 2012 to ask for the organisation’s assistance,” it said.

EE visited the school and found the principal had spent nine months out of school, there was an insufficient number of teachers, some teachers did not come to school, a lack of textbooks, and “appalling conditions” at the hostel.

Eastern Cape education spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani said the department was satisfied and relieved that “common ground” was found.

“A dedicated team was placed to focus on making these rather urgent improvements. We have a very able head of that district, and we are confident that indeed the issues will be dealt with.”

EE said in June the department said it had probed financial mismanagement at the school. It said the principal was suspended, and an acting one was appointed to improve the school.

The department said the school was underperforming and it would try to address the issue. Two months later the agreement was reached.

One of the provisions was that a month after the order was signed, the department had to submit a report on progress made at the school.

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