LETTER: ‘Horrified’ at school ‘

2016-02-23 06:00

On Friday 12 February I had the unfortunate experience of accompanying my daughter to Crestway High School to write her supplementary exams.

I was horrified at the conditions under which they had to write. There were 82 pupils writing in one classroom.

I was extremely disappointed to hear from the secretary of the school that no other school wanted to assist with the supplementary exams. I know there are schools that have the facilities to accommodate these kids. Not only was the “examination room” inadequate, but the area itself was extremely unsafe.

The toilets were highly unhygienic and filthy. The doors had no locks, there were holes in the ceilings and there were holes in the cubicles facing the outside, offering no privacy.

Some of the kids were there from just after 07:00. And not being able to use the bathroom until 12:00 – it’s just unacceptable.

Besides feeling completely vulnerable myself I feel heart-sore for our children who have to endure these conditions every day. What a huge disappointment in the Western Cape education department.

These kids are our future and they deserve better!

Anon, Email

Paddy Attwell, spokesperson of the Western Cape Department of Edcucation (WCED) responds: Fifteen schools, including Crestway High School, are hosting supplementary examinations for the National Senior Certificate.

Crestway has created an examination hall for the purpose by removing walls between three classrooms.

This has created sufficient space to accommodate the maximum number of candidates writing the examinations at the venue, in this case, 87.

Examination officials visited the school last Thursday, and found the venue spotlessly clean and more than adequate for the 69 candidates scheduled to write the next examination.

The candidates are not sitting in one classroom, as suggested by your reader, but in three classrooms that the school has joined together.

The school has cordoned off the hall so that normal school activities do not disrupt the examinations.

While the school is old, the ablution facilities are well looked after and serviceable.

The WCED rotates the venues between clusters of schools each year, in collaboration with the schools concerned. We have not experienced reluctance to host the examinations, as suggested in the letter.

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