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CityPress - - News - MSINDISI FENGUA­mong news@city­press.co.za

Un­der the noses of East­ern Cape ed­u­ca­tion head­quar­ters of­fi­cials, at least 29 Grade 12 pupils are forced to write their ma­tric ex­ams squashed to­gether in a sin­gle garage. them is Luhle Dolosi (20), who dreams of be­ing a land sur­veyor one day, de­spite in­di­ca­tions of more poor pro­vin­cial ma­tric re­sults this year.

Iqonce High School in King Wil­liam’s Town is barely 10km from the prov­ince’s ed­u­ca­tion head of­fice, but its pupils have lost out on a plan set up to help thou­sands of East­ern Cape ma­tric­u­lants pre­pare for ex­ams be­cause the school no longer con­ducts sup­ple­men­tary tu­tor­ing ses­sions.

Dolosi and her class­mates are caught up in a web of in­com­pe­tence and lack of po­lit­i­cal will af­ter pro­vin­cial au­thor­i­ties scup­pered Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Angie Mot­shekga’s plans to take to­tal con­trol of the pro­vin­cial ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ment five years ago. The school has re­ceived no sup­port.

“I’m the only hope for my fam­ily. I’m the only one who has a chance to take them out of poverty. I want to get ed­u­cated and get a de­cent job to also help my sib­lings to be some­body in life,” Dolosi said with great en­thu­si­asm. She has two sib­lings who look up to her.

Her mother is un­em­ployed and the fam­ily lives off her two sib­lings’ child sup­port grants.

“We sur­vive by so­cial grant money. I don’t have a choice but to pass this year. I don’t know what will hap­pen there­after, but I’d like to study fur­ther and be a land sur­veyor one day,” she said.

Since she en­rolled at the school last year in Grade 11, Dolosi has en­dured study­ing in makeshift class­rooms and has to duck rats and cock­roaches.

These were con­verted garages, park­ing lots and di­lap­i­dated of­fices that were turned into class­rooms when par­ents moved their chil­dren from the over­crowded Forbes Grant School in Gins­berg to oc­cupy de­serted municipal of­fices in 1998.

Their cries for proper class­rooms over the years have fallen on deaf ears. Adding in­sult to in­jury, in July, a fire gut­ted two crit­i­cal makeshift class­rooms, which were used as af­ter-school Ilima tutorial cen­tres.

School prin­ci­pal Xha­sumzi Mr­washu said he re­ported the in­ci­dent im­me­di­ately to the dis­trict of­fice, which is less than 5km away, but noth­ing has hap­pened.

“I’m wor­ried about our over­all re­sults this year. Ilima helped us in 2014 to reach a 57% pass rate, but since we don’t have these fa­cil­i­ties any more, we don’t have [sup­ple­men­tary tu­tor­ing] classes.”

Last year, the school’s pass rate dropped to 38%. But Mr­washu was pre­pared to turn the tide this year

PHOTO: MSINDISI FENGU

HEAD­ING FOR FAIL­URE Iqonce High School pupils stand out­side a garage they use as a class­room

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