Woodlands Primary issues to be addressed

2016-05-11 06:00
Shawn Adkins, Woodlands Primary SGB chairman points to one of the holes that exposes asbestos at the school. PHOTO: nicole john

Shawn Adkins, Woodlands Primary SGB chairman points to one of the holes that exposes asbestos at the school. PHOTO: nicole john

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PARENTS and governing body members of Woodlands Primary School have been promised a meeting by the Department of Education, with consultants and engineers, on 25 May to come up with a plan of action for the rebuilding of the school.

“Following a second lockout, parents and SBG members went to the head of department’s offices and demanded a meeting with him.

“We said that we will not be leaving the offices until we receive, in writing, confirmation that a visit to the school will be set up,” said Shawn Adkins, SGB chairman.

Speaking to Maritzburg Fever­, Adkins said that there have been numerous letters written to the department about the state of the school, which was built in 1973 and has never been renovated or maintained.

“We are waiting for the public meeting on the 25th [May]. We want to see results. As a school we are unanimous. If the school is not rebuilt then we will close it and there will be consequences,” he said.

The school has received feedback from the department, after the lockouts that the school will be rebuilt, however the estimated time frames state that the completion of the new school will be in 2020 with construction set to begin in the latter half of next year. According to Adkins, the department estimated that rebuilding the school will be R45 million and will take about four years.

“This is just not acceptable. Our need is urgent and the school needs to be rebuilt now.

“We want construction to begin as soon as this year, to be completed by next year. Not only is the school in a poor state, the medical effects the asbestos is having and continues to have is growing,” said Adkins.

The asbestos, which is what the school is built with, is broken­ throughout the school. Most of the holes, however, have been patched in order to enclose it.

Adkins said that pupils do not know any better and often touch and play with it.

Teachers are committed and continue with their work as usual, however.

He explained that the action taken by the parents in the form of the #OurKidsLives Matter campaign was long overdue as the problem facing the school is not new.

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