Help on the way for overcrowded North West school

2016-01-28 22:20
School desks. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

School desks. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Koster - Government intervention is needed at the Mphe-Bana Secondary School in Koster, the North West legislature's portfolio committee on education and sports development said on Thursday.

The committee visited the non-fee school and expressed shock at its condition, it said in a statement.

The visit came after media reports highlighted challenges of overcrowding, shortage of furniture and dysfunctional toilets and security.

According to the area manager, Benjamin Molokoe, the school was meant to accommodate 650 learners but there was currently  1690, with only 48 teachers.

There were currently 78 to 133 pupils per class.

There were three vacancies at the school - two for deputy principals and one for head of department.

"The overcrowding is mainly caused by the fact that  Mphe-Bana is the only secondary school in the township, including informal settlements around Koster," Molokoe said.

"There are two primary schools in the area who are also overcrowded... a third one is under construction. All these primary schools are feeding Mphe-Bana as it is the only English medium school around the area."

The provincial education department was providing four mobile classes and 10 VIP toilets, however there was not enough furniture.

Pupils were sitting four per-table while others had to stand, the committee said.

There was a shortage of 509 desks and 442 chairs.

The department had secured 100 chairs and desks, but 60 were for pre-school pupils.

"The department should come-up with measurable long-term solutions that addresses the current challenges of the school, including the shortage of critical positions," committee chairperson Boitumelo Moiloa said.

The committee was happy with the efforts made by the school's management despite the difficult conditions they were working under.

The school had an 85.96% matric pass rate last year.

Moiloa has sent a message to the head of the department, Dr Itumeleng Molale, with an instruction that by Monday all pupils at the school should have a desk and chair.

The committee said it had also summoned the department to a meeting on Tuesday in Tlokwe.

Read more on:    mahikeng  |  education

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