School set-up worries parents

2018-04-04 06:04
One of the “cleaner” bathroom stalls at the Wrenchville Primary School.                      Photo: Supplied

One of the “cleaner” bathroom stalls at the Wrenchville Primary School. Photo: Supplied

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Parents of learners of the Wrenchville Primary School in Kuruman are concern­ed that their children are not getting proper education due to classes being too cramped.

This was discussed at a community meeting held on Wednesday, 14 March.

Currently there are 1 628 learners at the school of which 104 learners are in Gr. R and the remaining 1 524 learners are from Gr. 1 to Gr. 7.

The school has a total of 45 classrooms and an additional two mobile classrooms.

Geoffrey van der Merwe, spokes­person for the Department of Education, says according to the overall utilisation of the school the learner classroom ratio can be calculated to 26 learners per classroom for Gr. R and 33 learners per classroom for Gr. 1 to Gr. 7.

“As per the norms and standards the ratio for Gr. R learners is 30 learners per classroom and for Gr. 1 to Gr. 7 it is 40 learners per classroom.

“Al­though the school is classified as a mega school it is not over- utilised in terms of the norms and standards for the public school infrastructure as was published in November 2013.”

According to the parents, the learners have to share desks. Some of the learners have to run to class just to ensure they get a desk.

Because of frustrations in the classroom setup, the learners take it out on each other on the playground.

The ablution blocks are also of huge concern to the parents as they are “filthy” and not enough for the learners.

Van der Merwe says the ablution facilities for Gr. 1 to Gr. 7 are calculated for female and male learners separately.

“According to the latest school numbers there are 740 female learners from Gr. 1 to Gr. 7 with 19 toilets allocated to the female learners. According to the enrollment per gender this is aligned to the norms and standards and therefore there are sufficient ablution facilities per standard.

“The learner enrolment for male learners is 784 and there are a total of 14 male ablutions and 2 urinals and thus there is a need for only 2 more urinals at the school.

“The condition of the ablutions came under the attention of the department in 2017 and a total of R957 544 was spent to uplift the condition.

“The utilisation of the new bath­room and the cleanliness of the bathrooms is handled at school level and the department will investigate to address this,” Van der Merwe says.

Although provision was made for another school in Wrenchville, the building process is on hold.

“The contractor at the new Wrenchville Primary School has been terminated due to slow performance, not meeting the set target dates and also due to quality issues. The department is in the process to procure a new contractor in order to complete the school.

“The new school is designed to cater for 1 060 learners and will therefore be able to elevate enrolment from the existing primary school and thus make the new Wrenchville Primary School a more manageable school,” Van der Merwe says.

“The new ablution that was constructed without windows is being addressed with the contractor.

“It is the prerogative of the parents to decide where they want their child to go to school, thereafter school management and the John Toalo Gaetsewe District Office will assist with the placement of the learners at the new school when it is opened,” he says.

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