SGB threatens to close school School closure looms

2015-05-28 06:00

TEMPERS were raised at the Merlewood Primary School’s meeting on Saturday. The SGB had invited Department of Education (DoE) to give feedback on the progress of building a new school.

They said the department has dragged the issue for more than 17 years.

Principal Audrey Ryan said it is challenging to deliver quality education in an environment that made learning and teaching difficult.

Ryan referred to the decaying, pest infested and vandalised prefab infrastructure the school has been operating in.

She said the recent spate of break-ins was because it was easy to kick down the walls and gain access.

SGB chairperson Mirelle Archibald­ said in the early 2000s the school was given two mobile classrooms, one of which was sent from Suid-Natal High and was already decaying.

“In 2012, DoE was contacted to express concern about unsafe classrooms. They gave us six mobile classrooms with no electricity. Since then its been promises­, but no action,” said Archibald.

DoE representative Jaya Pillay said the department is aware of the state of the school.

“In 2013 I met with the SGB on these issues and assessments were done but the cost of renovating­ the school did not make economic sense so it was then decided that building a new school should be done,” he said.

He added that the department has plans for projects and a need to prioritise, unfortunately the Merlewood project was not on top of the list of priorities.

This did not sit well with parents and SGB as they demanded that he gives them a date.

Ward Councilor Ajeeth Rajaram said he had also contacted DoE and was allegedly told there is no funding.

Rajaram said he attended a municipal IDP meeting where he raised the issue and informed the meeting that the school is now a danger to pupils.

A petition was signed that said if no response is given on the date action will be taken - the school will close.

The department was given a week to come up with a date or further action will be taken

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