'We are packed like sardines' - Gugulethu pupils, teachers

2017-02-27 15:33

Cape Town - Teachers, parents and schoolchildren disrupted schooling at Mseki Primary in Gugulethu on Friday, GroundUp reports.

They say classrooms are overcrowded and that some teachers have not been paid this year.

Pupils sang and danced in the schoolyard, while holding up posters reading: "We are packed like sardines" and "We had enough of empty promises, implement now!"

Phunyezwa Sonqishe, a parent and school governing body member, said classes had between 47 and 60 pupils. One Grade 7 class had more than 60 children.

"These classes are full to the point that a teacher cannot even move in between the learners."

Sonqishe said they had asked for permanent posts to be made available for three teachers who had been working at Mseki since 2015. They were last paid on December 27.

"The painful thing is that these teachers have families to look after, and they come to school every day without fail to do their job.

"At one point we contributed as parents, R10 each to help pay them, but that idea was not viable."

The Western Cape Education Department had told them that one of the teachers did not meet the requirements to do the job. She questioned why they had not been told this before.

They would not stop protesting until things changed, Sonqishe said.

The department told GroundUp that all the teachers at Mseki had been paid. Spokesperson Millicent Merton acknowledged that there had been an increase in the number of children at the school.

"As a result, some of the classrooms are crowded. Our district office will assist the school with teaching strategies to manage large classes."

School children protest as Mseki Primary School in Gugulethu on Friday. (Mary-Anne Gontsana, GroundUp)

Read more on:    cape town  |  education

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