'It's really tough but we battle along': This school has 3 teachers and 3 pit toilets for 116 pupils

2018-10-17 22:39
Mfunalwazi Primary School in Ncera Village, 30km outside East London, has 116 learners from grade 1 to 7 and only three teachers. (Chris Gilili, GroundUp)

Mfunalwazi Primary School in Ncera Village, 30km outside East London, has 116 learners from grade 1 to 7 and only three teachers. (Chris Gilili, GroundUp)

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Mfunalwazi Primary School in Ncera village, 30km outside East London, has 116 pupils from Grade 1 to 7 and only three teachers.

The school was established in 1994 but still has three pit toilets and one tap. Some children use an open field to relieve themselves. The floors are broken and the roof leaks when it rains, GroundUp reports.

Parents and teachers tried to make improvements using their own funds.

"When it rains, the pupils have to mop the floor because water flows in through the roof. It's really tough, but we battle along," says school principal Sonwabo Jimane.

Strong winds ripped off the roof of the Grade 7 class. Jimane says the matter was reported to the Eastern Cape department of education and officials came to assess the damage.

READ: Schools struggle to get water: Learners forced to use pit toilets, sent home as taps run dry

On the shortage of teachers, Jimane says: "I am told that currently the department cannot guarantee any new teacher for us … They said each teacher is supposed to look after 40 learners."

Spokesperson for the department Malibongwe Mtima told GroundUp that the department had allocated a budget for this financial year to fix sanitation-related issues at schools around the province.

"I am not aware of the broken roof situation, but will make sure a follow-up is made.

"I cannot provide much comment about this school, especially on the understaffing, until the department has made a proper evaluation and seen what assistance is needed," said Mtima.

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