News24

Dept: No infrastructure, no school

2012-05-28 13:51

Johannesburg - It was not feasible to build a school until the necessary infrastructure was in place, the Limpopo education department said on Monday.

The department was responding to a report about children being taught under trees in Limpopo, featured on the front page of the Sunday Times newspaper.

According to the article, 14 teachers at Selowe Primary School in Silvermine, 120km from Polokwane in Limpopo, taught 165 children without receiving any compensation.

The school had no classrooms, with lessons conducted under Marula trees and a single shack, with specific trees allocated to specific grades.

There were no textbooks, stationery, chairs, desks, or toilets.

The school was reportedly established after parents decided not to send their children to schools in two neighbouring villages after pupils were nearly raped on their way to school.

The newspaper reported authorities offered to provide transport to two state schools in neighbouring villages, but parents rejected the offer.

Resources not available

Local residents showed correspondence with the education department from October 2010 onwards, in which an official supported the idea of establishing a new school, the Sunday Times said.

According to the newspaper, the department said resources were not available to establish a new school. This was contained in minutes of a meeting between principal Evans Seanego and the department in April.

Department spokesperson Pat Kgomo said they received an application for the establishment of Selowe Primary School from Silvermine residents on September 9 last year.

A feasibility study was conducted on November 3 in the area, and showed a need for a school in the village.

Kgomo said for a school to be established, the department needed to plan for provision of infrastructure, water and sanitation, learner teacher support materials, teachers, and norms and standards.

On December 12, community representatives told the department they would withdraw their children from two primary schools 4 and 6km away unless their application for a new school was approved.

Department under no obligation

The department met residents on January 17, and said it would not be possible to establish a school in 2012. Parents were offered transport to the two state primary schools, but they rejected this, Kgomo said.

On January 18, parents removed their children from the two state schools and established Selowe Primary School, against the department's advice.

The department was under no obligation to pay the teachers because none of them were qualified to teach, nor could they offer the recognised curriculum.

In February, MEC Namane Dickson Masemola sent officials to Silvermine to ask locals to reconsider the department's offer of transport to the two state schools.

"This meeting was also attended by local councillors of Blouberg municipality. Again, the community rejected this option," Kgomo said.

Several meetings had taken place since then between residents and education officials. If the impasse continued, the department would have no other option but to seek other legally enforceable alternatives.

The establishment of Selowe Primary School had been approved for January 2013, with road improvement discussions already underway with the municipality, Kgomo said.

Comments
  • Irene - 2012-05-28 13:57

    How absolutely shameful. What a disgrace the anc is. They'd rather steal taxpayers money than provide a decent education for children, but then that is the only way they stay in power - lack of brain power. anc = PURE EVIL, FILTHY SCUM!

      Azande - 2012-05-28 14:12

      good thing is that they provided alternative.

      John - 2012-05-28 14:16

      irene, i read about this yesterday, the dept cancelled the transport, i would also not let my kids travel by taxi, good on the parents and the teachers, the only reason the dept says you cant build a school before infrustuture is cause they got not money after all the tenderpreneurs have stolen it, and i bet my bottom dollar that there has been a tender granted for buildings at this site but the money has disapeared.

      Voiceinthedesert.co.za - 2012-05-28 19:37

      Please can everybody make sure they do not vote for the ANC we must make a stand against these dictators. If you should decide you don't want to vote, the ANC will automatically get your vote. i don't care who you vote for, as long as it is not the ANC. But please whatever you do, do not decide not to vote because the ruling party automatically gets those votes please please please

  • Squeegee - 2012-05-28 13:57

    While I often bash Lilmpopo lumpheads, if every community just started their own school and then demanded buildings, etc. it would be chaos - wait it already is...

      Jacqui - 2012-05-28 14:32

      Squeegee, you didn't read the article, The parents didn't want their children to walk to the school as there were some rape attempts before. What is the matter with you?.

      Dee - 2012-05-28 16:04

      Squeegee - Completely agree with you point. I understand from S.Times report that there had also been an offer to reinstate the transport, and the community refused it. Also, the process to release land for development takes YEARS - involving environmental impact studies etc etc etc - which could well be too bureaucratic - but we would scream blue murder if environmental issues trampled. The DA faced the same 'political furore' issue with 1000's extra kids unexpectedly admitted to a Cape school - and could not magically provide sufficient capacity overnight.

      Squeegee - 2012-05-28 18:43

      Jaqui, I'm for more schools in rural areas, but be realistic. Do you know how much a new school costs? How many communities can we afford demanding a school? I sympathize with their plight, I'm just not sure this is the solution.

      Al - 2012-05-28 21:58

      @squeegee, while I do agree with your point on everyone demanding schools. I think the rest of your points had absolutely no substance. Let's do a few calculations. department has the desks, chairs, and learning materials at a near by school available for the kids. So it is not an issue of these resources. There is no need for finding land they can place temporary structures at the same place as the current school with no objection from the village I'm sure since they have requested it. So the only major issues here are sanitation and school itself. I'm sure you will agree building say 4 loos 2x girls and 2 x boys will be sufficient and would only cost around R20,000. Class room (prefab) to hold 20 kid will cost around R30,000 and they would need 9 of them. so the school would cost around R300,000 to build. Would you agree? This does look like a lot, but let's now breakdown the Limpopo response. They are willing to transport the kids every day to and from school. Let's assume the trip costs R2.5 per child per trip or R5 per day. Let's also assume there are 20 school days in every month. 165 children at R 5 a day for 20 days is R16,500 for the bus/es. The school pays itself off in 18 months. Instead of shooting the idea down why can't it become a reality. First month instead of transporting the kids they build the sanitary facilities. Second month the build a classroom and fill it with a few desks that are in access at the school the are told to go to and so on.

  • Loo - 2012-05-28 14:05

    Yet they built toilets with no roofs and or walls a while back . .sensibility did not stand in the way of that corruption . .I mean,, there were bribes to be paid

  • Deon - 2012-05-28 14:10

    These parents are throwing away theire childrens education by starting an unregistered school. "Failing to plan and you are planning to fail" The late Jim Rohn.

      Jacqui - 2012-05-28 14:34

      Deon, so they should let their children walk through the bush to the allocated school and face possible rape?. How generous of you.

      Azande - 2012-05-28 14:40

      @Deon, have you noticed that they have been engaging government in talks about the school since 2010? What else do they have to do? Put their kids at risk?

  • Azande - 2012-05-28 14:17

    Sad story. I love my ANC. I love my country. I dislike the current government administration with their two-headed head. They have failed us dismally.

      Hermann - 2012-05-28 14:29

      @Azande --- absolute meaningless words friend as you are still voting for the disaster that struck our country.

      Jacqui - 2012-05-28 14:35

      Azande, so right. Where is the ANC of the old days, when decency and self respect ruled?

      Azande - 2012-05-28 14:36

      @hermann, I never voted for JZ, I voted ANC which has been doing pretty well till JZ used Malema to oust Mbeki and took over. There is only one person who is destroying this country, Zuma.

      Al - 2012-05-28 22:03

      But is this enough to allow you to change your vote and vote for anybody else but the ANC?

  • VWhitepaw - 2012-05-28 14:23

    Yet... There is money to rename street names that have no meaning to me. Before or after. Use the money that are wasted on street names where it is needed. And stop buying the most expencive cars availible.

      Azande - 2012-05-28 14:28

      in limpopo they are not renaming streets.

      grant.hide - 2012-05-28 14:35

      Even so, They are renaming streets at a tremendous cost. Could build a few schools or even new roads with that money.

      themba.maphophe - 2012-05-28 16:29

      Limpopo has already finished renaming the streets. Just drive from Mokopane(previously Potgietersrus), Polokwane(Pietersburg), Musina(Messina), Modjadjiskloff(Duiwelskloof), you'll see the renaming that I a talking about. But, anyways, all in all, the dept is right, no school without proper supportive infrastructure. That includes roads, sanitation, water, etc. It is not just one gov. dept. it has to be a joint venture between departments. Lets cut them some slack please....

  • Azande - 2012-05-28 14:26

    Why cant the government use the money they will spend on transporting these kids to build a shelter, shacks or whatever while you are busy sorting out the other things. these kids are being taught under the trees anyway and have no much concern about these sanitation, toilets etc things of yours. shelter and teachers are the primary needs, its winter now and i can imagine there is no school when its raining. these people are just full of non-helping and disgusting excuses.

      Jacqui - 2012-05-28 14:37

      Azande, who in this pathetic excuse for a government care?.

      TheyTookMyNickLaZynEko - 2012-05-28 15:01

      definitely full of pathetic excuses all round!!

  • Ranon Visagie - 2012-05-28 14:27

    This is a disgrace, first of all it should not be the consumers responsibilty to pay for education that should be a government responsibility, yet our taxes are sky high and yet they cant even provide basic schooling facilities for the south african people! Those poor kids! And they say theres no infrastructure? Why the hell not? We dont pay taxes so the government officials can drive nice cars we pay so they can look after the citizens..if they dont even have building infrastructure i wonder if they have proper sewerage or water reticulation? Its terrible, what are our taxes ring used for?

      Al - 2012-05-28 22:08

      Agreed and supported just one less BMW X5 (+/- R 1,000,000) for a minister could have allowed a very nice school to be built for this community. Maybe even 2 nice schools if my calculation are right.

  • Jacqui - 2012-05-28 14:30

    Children learning under Marula trees and self enriching crooks earning 3 miillion a year. How any one can support and defend this party and it's politics is beyond me.

  • Erna - 2012-05-28 14:40

    Maybe Zuma and the minister of education should "step down" just as some people are demanding the boycott of the Citi Press, etc.

      Azande - 2012-05-28 14:48

      Zuma must step down now. I am tired of this selfish, promiscuous and adulterous retard.

  • richard.hipkin - 2012-05-28 15:02

    Surely a building will suffice for now? A few tables and chairs? And you need infrastructure for this??

      Azande - 2012-05-28 15:14

      Pathetic excuse, they are just not keen to resolve the problem or perhaps still looking for a deal partner that give kickbacks.

  • Nigel - 2012-05-28 15:08

    They're too busy with paintings and other trivia to be concerned with something as lowly as education.

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