Pupils of overcrowded school left in the lurch

2013-04-28 06:00

Nothing has changed at Flagstaff’s Meyisi Senior Secondary School.

Read: Back to Bantu education?

Well, that’s not quite true. The difference is that now journalists seeking answers about whether there are still 153 pupils in a single class are being denied access.

At the end of January, the department promised urgent action after City Press revealed the state of Grade 10B. This past week, City Press visited and principal Thandi Kaya refused to allow us in.

“We got a warning that we must not allow you back into the school, otherwise we will be in trouble. You must contact the department of education. We cannot help you and we cannot comment,” he said.

The school governing body was not so shy. “Nothing has changed in the school. It’s a hopeless situation. Learners sit in threes at a single desk,” said treasurer Christopher George.

“We are frustrated because the future of our children is at stake here. There isn’t a door we haven’t knocked on in the department of education, but there seems to be little or no will to help improve the situation.”

The school is in for tougher times, the school governing body says. Eight temporary teachers employed in February will leave this week, leading to even worse staff shortages.

But provincial education spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani slammed this as a “deliberate lie”.

He said the contracts of all 2 300 temporary teachers in Eastern Cape schools were extended and their positions would be made permanent.

Pulumani blamed overcrowding on principals. “It reveals management flaws because principals know that the bigger the number of school learners, the better the pay. They deliberately over-extend the capacity of schools.”

He said the department allocated R31 million towards desks and chairs for schools like Meyisi.

“We are busy with deliveries. I am sure that Meyisi will be one of the schools that will get their full furniture.”

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