No seat of learn­ing

Park­side Grade Rs forced to sit on bricks

Go! & Express - - Front Page - QHAMANI LINGANI

PARK­SIDE Pri­mary School’s Grade R pupils have been us­ing bricks, crates, benches and 20-litre buck­ets as seats, mak­ing learn­ing very dif­fi­cult.

Each of the four classes con­sists of about 38 pupils, and each class has one or two of th­ese items as seats for the chil­dren.

De­spite hav­ing asked the ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ment to as­sist in this re­gard, the school has not re­ceived any fur­ni­ture as yet.

“The school can­not use our money to buy fur­ni­ture be­cause that is used to pay the Grade R teach­ers. Some of th­ese teach­ers use their own money to buy re­sources used in the class­rooms.

“The par­ents have also as­sisted in donat­ing some of the fur­ni­ture [in the classes now], but it is not enough,” prin­ci­pal Brian Fritz said.

He added that the bud­get they re­ceived from the de­part­ment only catered for Grade 1 to 7 and they were plead­ing with them to ex­tend it to Grade R.

“Grade R has four classes and only one of the four teach­ers is paid by the govern­ment,” Fritz said.

The school is now ask­ing the par­ents and com­mu­nity of East Lon­don to as­sist where they can be­cause they want to cre­ate a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment for their pupils.

De­part­ment head Lizelle Abra­hams said the school had also bought a cou­ple of chairs and ta­bles but they were not enough, and this was why they were ask­ing for as­sis­tance from the pub­lic.

“It is re­ally dif­fi­cult to work like this, but we make do with what we have,” she said.

East­ern Cape ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ment spokesman Mal­i­bongwe Mtima said the de­part­ment has noted this and would like to re­quest the school to al­low 14 work­ing days to re­solve the mat­ter as pro­cure­ment for fur­ni­ture was at an ad­vance stage.

Last year, the GO! & Ex­press re­ported how the needy school was hav­ing the sparse re­sources at the fa­cil­ity so badly van­dalised that the pupils were sent home (“Pupils sent home: Poorly se­cured Park­side Pri­mary shuts doors af­ter thieves de­stroy fa­cil­i­ties”).

The ar­ti­cle showed how elec­tri­cal wires were cut, toi­lets bro­ken, fences de­stroyed and the prin­ci­pal’s lap­top stolen at a school that al­ready strug­gles to make ends meet.

It was go­ing to cost the school more than R100000 to fix the dam­age and re­wire the school, but some Good Sa­mar­i­tans came on board and helped the school.

A con­trac­tor came on a week­end and fixed the school’s plumb­ing at no cost to the school and a con­cert was also held to raise funds to fix other prob­lems at the school.

Fritz said that the de­part­ment came for­ward not long af­ter the queries last year and fixed all the elec­tri­cal, ablu­tion and wa­ter prob­lems at the school.

Any­one who can as­sist the school, can con­tact them on (043) 722-4303 or Abra­hams on 079-620-4975.

Pic­tures: QHAMANI LINGANI

SEAT­ING AR­RANGE­MENT: Pupils at Park­side Pri­mary have had to make do with bricks, crates or empty paint con­tain­ers as seats

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