North West schools fight battles on several fronts

2014-01-21 13:00

North West schools are battling because of crippling teacher and infrastructure shortages, members of that province’s legislature have reported.

Members of the North West provincial legislature’s portfolio committee on education, sports, arts and culture visited various schools in the region last week to assess their readiness for the academic year.

Namhla Luhabe, North West legislature deputy communications manager said: “A major challenge among those found was the shortage of teachers.” She said that maths and physical science teachers were not retained for longer periods.

The Mafanele High School in Klipgat, which achieved a 58.6% pass rate, told the committee it did not have business economics and accounting teachers.

“Our learners have been without accounting and business economics teachers since June. We relied on university students and subject advisers to assist learners over weekends,” a teacher at the school told the committee during the visit. The Tong Comprehensive School in Ganyesa is also using temporary maths and science teachers.

Several schools also reported infrastructure shortages. The Temoso Special School in Ganyesa lacks classrooms, a staff room and skilled personnel to attend to pupils with special needs.

“The school needs nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists and teachers,” the principal told the committee. Tong also has a shortage of toilets. Teachers and pupils share a few pit toilets.

Committee chairperson Fenny Galaolwe said the team would meet the provincial department of basic education to see how it could help schools in the region.

In September last year, the department of basic education published its norms and standards that deal with schools infrastructure. The R100 billion plan gives provincial departments 10 years to provide classrooms, electricity, water, sanitation and perimeters.

According to the plan, all schools should have infrastructure such as libraries, laboratories and sportsfields by 2030.

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