2019-04-17 06:02
Grade 10 pupil Nandipha Mzolo during the protest.PHOTO: lethiwe makhanya

Grade 10 pupil Nandipha Mzolo during the protest.PHOTO: lethiwe makhanya

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SUKUMA Secondary School pupils in Imbali Unit 1 brought everything into a standstill on Monday and Tuesday as they closed F J Sithole Road with broken bottles and burnt tyres in front of their school gate.

Pupils at the school have been without electricity for the past three months and some in Grade 10,11 and 12 have not had teachers since the beginning of the year.

They say electricity problem started at the beginning of the year. At first they say they thought it was a load shedding because the electricity would be off but come back on again few hours later or the next day.

Some of the pupils who spoke to Echo but wanted to remain anonymous said when the electricity did not come back on for days in January they asked the teachers and the school principal as to what was happening but they told that the transformer has burnt.

“We saw Eskom cars coming in and out of our school and we had hope that they were fixing the electricity but till today we still do not have the electricity.

“When we closed in March we were told that when we come back the school will have the electricity but still we do not have electricity and no one is giving us an explanation why. Some of the subject that were even written in the first term started late because the school had to go and to copies of the examination papers at ZamaZulu Secondary school because we do not have electricity.

“Grade 12 pupils who are doing consumer studies did not do their practicals because of the electricity. This is going to reflect badly in their results because these practicals contribute in their marks. What is even worse is that they pay for these practicals,” she said.

Pupils who are staying at the boarding house that is situated inside the school were sent back home when they came to start their second term. They were told they can not stay in the boarding house because there is no electricity.

“During the first term borders would get help from the day scholars who are living near the school with ironing of their uniform but still it was not enough. They could not go to study because it was dark. Most of them are now sitting at home and they are left behind with the school work.

“When we ask the teachers about what is going to happen to them regarding getting the information since they were sent back home by the school, the teachers tell us that is not their problem because they will not start over again with teaching when the boarders come back after the electricity comes back. This is so unfair to them. Enough is enough now. We will protest until the electricity comes back and we have teachers,” she said.

Pupils without teachers say in the end of their first term they had to write exams although they did not have a teacher.

“The only the they was to organise us teachers they were only coming in two days a week and sometimes they would not come. We were told that we must write the exams whether we know what to write or not because the department has us the paper to write.

“If we continue like this we are going to fail at the end of the year. We have been quite for a long time in this school and I believe that this is why they do not care about us.”

KwaZulu-Natal department of education spokesperson Sihle Mlotshwa said the Department is aware of the Electricity problem at Sukuma Secondary. He said the transformer has been damaged.

“We have been relying on the generator whilst were are attending to the problem, however, the generator could n’t carry us for long and we couldn’t risk the hostel learners to stay in the dark.

“The matter has been sent to Public Works to appoint a service provider to attend to the problem. The Department through the District Director has signed all the necessary documents and it currently with Supply chain at Department of Public Works. They have promised to act urgently, Already we are hard at work with Public Works to ensure that the matter is resolved as speedily as is possible,” he said.

Mlotshwa denied that the School does not have teachers. The School has a full complement per their Post Provisioning Norms (PPN)

He said the Boarders will be subjected to a catch up programme because it is only from last week that they (Boarders) are not receiving tuition.


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