'Appaling conditions' at E Cape school

2012-09-11 22:15

Johannesburg - The Eastern Cape has failed to improve conditions at Moshesh Senior Secondary School in Matatiele, rights group Equal Education (EE) said on Tuesday.

"Earlier this year EE was contacted by Eastern Cape learners describing appalling problems at their rural school, Moshesh...," EE said in a statement.

The pupils claimed the school had not received textbooks and was relying on books from the 1980s, and that the school principal was absent for nine months.

"The Maluti district, the acting superintendent general and the Eastern Cape education MEC have all unequivocally failed to meet their responsibilities to learners at Moshesh," EE said.

Eastern Cape education department spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani agreed that there were serious problems at the school.

"Our concern is that there was a serious breakdown of basic teaching and learning... because of instability at the school."

Classes would be held over the holidays to make up for lost teaching time, he said.

EE said it had tried to contact the provincial government to resolve the problems, but received no response.

EE visited Moshesh Secondary in June and found that teachers often arrived late for school, left early or were absent, without making arrangements for schooling to continue.

"Curriculum planning and delivery are neither occurring nor being monitored by the principal or the district."

The school principal was accused of illegally expelling and assaulting pupils, and of failing to keep up with the administration of the school.

Pulumani said the department was aware of the allegations against the principal, and that an investigation was underway.

He said one of the apparent causes of the problems was that there were "factions" among teachers, and that there had been a breakdown between various levels of staff.

"We have indicated that our labour relations section will investigate this - and no one will be spared," Pulumani said.

Pupils had sent EE an impassioned letter describing the problems and appealing for help.

"We have big problems in our school and this led us to fail, and it also destroyed our lives and future in general," they wrote.

The children claimed that the school was drastically under-staffed and that Grade 12 pupils lived in the school hostel unsupervised.

EE said that district officials had visited the school, but had refused to meet parents or the school governing body.

Pulumani denied this.

"Our district manager had several meeting with parents and the school governing body."

The rights group said the situation at Moshesh had not improved, despite Pulumani's comment, reported in the Times on Monday, that the department has "put measures in place" to ensure that teaching resumed.

"EE will consider the possibility of legal action if the situation is not resolved urgently."

Pulumani said the department did have an intensive catch-up plan in place to deal with the backlog.

A nearby boarding school would host additional classes and the department had already delivered teaching materials, including study guides, educational DVDs and past exam papers, to the school.

"There will be no spring holidays, there will be catch up classes. We have arranged a stipend for additional teachers in the district to help out."

The department would provide food for the holiday classes and parents had volunteered to cook it.

Pulumani said the catch-up classes would be intensive and would focus on the subjects that had been worst affected at the school.

Matatiele lies below Lesotho in a remote area of the Eastern Cape.

  • jeremy.forbes.1293 - 2012-09-11 23:30

    Sies man, what are they doing to our children. Shame on you so called educators and Provincial Administration. This is child abuse of the highest order, these children will struggle to recover to build a future for themselves. Sadly too no word from the ANCYL - much to bothered with a well run WC. If I were the DA I'd invite these children and their parents to move to the WC for a decent education and life chance.

      bless.boswell - 2012-09-13 00:33

      How dare government treat the children of this country so shabbily? This is discrimination at its worst and is far worse than anything children experienced pre 1994. government has a lot to answer for. It's time they're brought to book and are made to right the wrongs. They should pay back monies stolen. Just as the whites were made to pay a reconstruction and development levy for their perceived sins ,so should errant ANC thieves be made to pay back what they have stolen.

  • juan.prinsloo.750 - 2012-09-12 01:16

    Damn and what's the solution? Let's just blame it on apartheid and all is well

  • amanda.victor.92 - 2012-09-12 10:13


      bless.boswell - 2012-09-13 00:34

      Ah come on, you can do better than that!

  • croix.mactee - 2012-09-14 21:10

    Despite this atrocious neglect and uselessness, Fat Angie earns more per annum than President Hollande of France, and the Prime ministers of England and Japan. What can she possibly have that keeps Zuma from firing the 'slack a$*e? Must be that she's head of the Womens' League? I think this hole he's digging will turn out to be his political grave. Shame on you useless 'things'!

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