Two years later, Eastern Cape school still has broken roof

2017-01-24 09:07
Two and a half years after it blew off, the roof at Imiqhayi Secondary School has not been replaced. (Manqulo Nyakombi, GroundUp)

Two and a half years after it blew off, the roof at Imiqhayi Secondary School has not been replaced. (Manqulo Nyakombi, GroundUp)

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We speak to students in East London. Watch them explain what life is like for them attending a rural school in the Eastern Cape, ahead of the local government elections.WATCH

King William's Town - Pupils and teachers at Imiqhayi Senior Secondary School in Mount Coke outside King William's Town have been waiting for two-and-a-half years for the Eastern Cape Department of Education to fix their school after the zinc roof blew off.

The school has broken ceilings and floors, and one standpipe tap for more than 200 pupils, GroundUp reported.

Some of the boys' toilets are broken and they say when they want to relieve themselves they go to the houses close to the school to ask to use the toilets there.

Teachers told GroundUp that in June 2014 strong winds had blown off the zinc roof that was part of the school.

Provincial education department officials had assessed the damage several times but nothing had been done.

School built by parents

The school had been forced to ask for donations from parents and businesses to buy paint and for volunteers to do the painting.

Pupils protested twice in 2016 over conditions at the school.

Big-boy Panza, a volunteer caretaker at the school, said his parents had been among those who had helped build the school.

They had put up walls with mud blocks before the Department of Education started to help.

"This is a very old school. I know how our parents struggled to build this school from the ground," said Panza.

He said the department had failed to maintain the buildings.

Grade 9 and 10 pupils take lessons in a hall that has been divided into two classrooms.

'They keep feeding us empty promises'

The school started the year with a shortage of teachers.

A Grade 11 pupil said he had hoped to do physical science, but there was no teacher and the school had dropped the subject.

He showed GroundUp what used to be a science lab, but is now a storage room where old desks are kept.

"To me it seems the department does not care much about the education of students living in rural areas. They keep feeding us empty promises. We do deserve a better education, but not all our parents can take us to schools in town," he said.

Some pupils said they would take agriculture instead of physical science.


The boys’ toilets at the school are broken. (Manqulo Nyakombi, GroundUp)

Another Grade 11 pupil said there had been no maths literacy teaching because there was no teacher. He said there was a rumour that the school was going to drop maths literacy as well.

Repeated attempts to get comment from provincial education department spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani, starting last Tuesday, have been unsuccessful.

Read more on:    east london  |  service delivery  |  education

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