Vandalised school ‘a health and safety risk’
PARENTS protested outside Mount Royal Combined satellite school yesterday, saying they were fed up with the disgraceful condition of the school.
Located in Mount Moriah, outside KwaMashu, all that is left of the school is dilapidated prefab structures after numerous raids by vandals have left it without electricity and doors, while most of the windows are long gone.
The facility was built in 2012 as a temporary structure to accommodate pupils from the area. Children from Mount Moriah are transported to the satellite school by bus every day to ease overcrowding at the nearby Mount Royal Combined School. It accommodates about 130 children between grade R and 3, and has five teachers.
The school has a palisade fence punctured by holes. The classrooms look like they are about to collapse. Windows and doors have been removed by criminals who sell them for scrap.
The school has only one functioning toilet that is shared between the teachers, all women, and both male and female pupils.
During cold days, only three or four of the 130 children attend school.
In the yard are puddles of dirty water that have allegedly caused some children to get diarrhoea.
“We were promised that it was a temporary solution, and a new primary school would be built,” said Jabulani Mthethwa, the chairman of the school governing body.
Vandals first struck the school in 2013. “These”, said Mthethwa, pointing to glass-less windows, “are the second windows that have been put in.”
Protesting parents, who demanded a new school, said the Department of Education should move the school as it was both a health and a security risk.
“We want the department to move the classrooms closer, to at least locate them within the community where the community will be able to monitor them,” said parent Jabu Ndlovu.
“The school itself is in very poor condition, it is a health hazard because of the puddles of water filled with algae. The children play in these puddles and they get sick,” she said.
“The teachers are also not safe because the school is not properly fenced. Criminals just walk in, peeking at the classrooms while the teachers are working, and at times they are looking under the classrooms where they hide stolen property,” she said.
Department of Education spokesman Scelo Khuzwayo said the situation was unacceptable, and that the department would visit the school to assess the damage.
“We would also like to thank the teachers for continuing to work under such trying circumstances, and we urge them to be patient as we attend to the situation,” he said.