Builder locks school’s loos

2011-09-01 00:00

PUPILS at the Magoda Primary School in Richmond are being forced to use a forest next to the school to relieve themselves because a disgruntled contractor who was not paid for his work locked the toilets, effectively forcing the school to close early every day.

Since the beginning of this term, pupils have had to use the forest which is also a cemetery, to relieve themselves.

The school’s newly constructed toilets are under lock and key, because the Education Department has allegedly failed to pay the contractor.

Last week the children reported that they had allegedly seen a skeleton in the forest and since then they have been refusing to go there.

The Witness was unable to confirm whether there was a skeleton as the teacher who investigated that claim said they found nothing.

This has forced the school management team to limit the schooling hours to 8 am to 11 am so that the children can go home and relieve themselves there.

The teachers either have to wait until they get home, or ask one of the neighbours around the school if they can use their facilities.

A source who declined to be named said even the mobile toilets that had been installed at the school had been problematic.

“When the school toilets were being constructed, we had mobile toilets, but they were not cleaned on regular basis.

“They have now been taken and there is nothing left,” the source said.

Pricilla Nzimande, chairperson of the school’s governing body, said the situation not only impacted the children’s dignity, but also negatively affected their education.

She said, “We cannot force the children to go into the forest because if anything happened there it would be on our heads.

“This is affecting their learning because they are now learning for only three hours per day, these coming holidays the students will need to be here learning to make up for the time they have lost.”

Mbali Thusi, spokesperson for the Education Department, said the school was in the emergency toilet programme.

She said the school’s toilets will be handed over this coming Friday.

She said they were not aware that the mobile toilets had been removed and will investigate the matter.

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