Pupils learn under difficult conditions

2016-04-29 06:00
Grade 9 pupils in the overcrowded classroom. Photo: Siphelele Nketo

Grade 9 pupils in the overcrowded classroom. Photo: Siphelele Nketo

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Siphelele@media24.com

FRANKLIN High School pupils are learning under difficult conditions because of overcrowding and broken windows.

The farm school has more than 780 pupils - from Grade 8 to Grade 12.

When Fever journalist visited the school, there were 109 Grade 8 pupils in one mud classroom, which had broken windows and the chalk boards were being used to stop the wind from entering the classroom.

A Grade 9 pupil Bongumsa Hlengi (18) said it is not easy to hear during lessons because other pupils make a tremendous amount of noise.

“We need extra classrooms because it’s not nice to be in an overcrowded class. On rainy days we have to put cardboard up on the windows.”

The school has four proper classrooms built by the Department of Education, temporal structures and a two- roomed mud structure built by the community.

“The school has a fence around it so we don’t know how or where the culprits get in and vandalise the classrooms because every day when we get to school we see broken windows,” said an anonymous teacher.

A Grade 10 pupil, William van Rooyen­ (17), said the condition of the school is worrying because winter is around the corner.

“I have flu and once winter arrives it going to be bad for us.”

The school’s matric pass rate dropped from 57% in 2014 to 35% last year, but it is unclear whether the condition of the school is the cause of this. In 2012 the school performed well, achieving a 67% pass rate, but dropped to 64% in 2013.

The school has received several awards for excelling in music.

The principal refused to comment on the situation, but Department of Education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said the school should not over-enroll if there is a shortage of classrooms.

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