‘More schools struggle with 100+ per class’

2013-01-29 16:56

Dumsi Senior Secondary School in the Eastern Cape is struggling with class sizes of over 100 learners as the teacher shortage crisis in the province continues, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has said.

The DA said it visited the school in Ntabankulu as part of an oversight meeting of the legislature’s education committee.

“The school’s situation is a further sign that the education department’s decision to withhold temporary teacher appointments is severely affecting schools across the province,” said Edmund van Vuuren, DA shadow MEC for education.

This follows a report in City Press on Sunday that Meyisi Senior Secondary School in Flagstaff had 153 learners in Grade 10 B, cramped into one classroom, with little learning taking place.

Read the City Press report here: Exclusive – Back to Bantu education?

The DA called on teacher union Sadtu to stop resisting the reassignment of teachers for the sake of children’s education and for the department to take strong action against all teachers refusing reassignment.

“Learners cannot continue to be caught in the crossfire between unions and the department,” the DA said.

Many schools in Lusikisiki district are battling to cope with class sizes of between 120 and 140 learners, district officials have confirmed to the DA.

According to the party, Dumsi had eight teacher vacancies in 2010, 12 in 2011, and 17 in 2012.

The school’s pass rate has dropped from 50.8% in 2010, to 30.1% in 2011, to 19.5% in 2012.

“All the main subjects including maths, English, geography, science and accounting are barely taught at the school by the seven teachers left to teach 753 learners,” Van Vuuren said.

He said parents were considering a petition for the closure of the school out of desperation.

He said it was unacceptable that parents in the province were made to send their children back to school to “stare at empty blackboards”.

Read the department’s response to the City Press story here: Education department ‘urgently dealing’ with overcrowded school

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