‘We fear for our children’s lives’

2019-06-19 06:00
The school toilets that are used by Khokhwane­ Primary School pupils.PHOTO: supplied

The school toilets that are used by Khokhwane­ Primary School pupils.PHOTO: supplied

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PARENTS of pupils who go to Khokhwane Primary School, in Elandskop, have raised concerns over the school’s pit toilets that are used by the pupils.

Speaking to Echo, parents said the pit toilets at the school are full and old and the Department of Education (DoE) has done nothing to fix them.

One parent, who did not want to be named, said their children’s lives are put in danger everyday because of these toilets. He said, as parents, they are not happy and they want the department to intervene.

“It has been years that these toilets have been like this yet nothing is being done.Besides being full they are also dirty. How can they expect our children to use them on a daily basis?

“We have young children that are doing Grade R at the school but they are expected to use these toilets. Do they want our children to drown in these toilets before they do something?

“As an adult you cannot eat after being in that toilet. It stinks. We can no longer accept this, something needs to be done soon,” he said.

Nqobani Madlala said there are children in his family who attend the school and the family fears for their lives everyday because of these toilets.

“I am also a former pupil of this school. In 2000, when I finished Grade 7, we were using the same toilets and already at that time they were not in a good condition. We were using them because we did not have any other choice, like the children that are using them now,” he said. “Can you imagine what it is like now, 19 years later?”

A source inside the school confirmed that they are having problems with the toilets however she did not want to go into detail.

Parents say it is not just the toilets that they are unhappy about. They are also concerned about the safety of their children. They say the school does not have security and the school gate is always wide open. They say that no one monitors the people who are coming in and out of the school.

“We are living in a cruel world and we all know that our children need to be protected. Anyone can just enter the school premises and steal our children or worse. Teacher’s lives are also put in danger,” said Nozipho Ndlovu.

On top of these issues, the school has not had water for over two months and pupils are sometimes sent home due to this problem.

Echo recently reported on the story of Bhekamatshe Primary School, where parents were also complaining about the state of the toilets.

Parents went as far as closing the school with burning tyres, demanding the principal be removed and their issues resolved.

DoE KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said : “We have a programme [running focusing on] eradicating 1 334 latrines pit toilets. Khokhwane Primary is one of the schools that are in the programme. This is for this financial year 2019/20,” he said.

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