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Delivery of chairs, tables not enough to ensure continued learning, say parents of Mabopane school

A file picture of a classroom. Parents and learners of a Mabopane school say the delivery of desks and chairs is not enough. Picture: File

A file picture of a classroom. Parents and learners of a Mabopane school say the delivery of desks and chairs is not enough. Picture: File

Published May 23, 2022

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Pretoria - While tables and chairs were delivered to a Mabopane school last week, after learners and their parents protested and shut it down, it is not enough, they said.

The equipment, said the parents and learners at Setumo Khiba Secondary school, was not all they needed to facilitate learning and teaching conducively, as the need was big and disabled schooling.

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This is after last Monday, the community of the block B township joined learners and their parents to chant outside the school, saying there would be no schooling until issues, among them the lack of scholar transportation and equipment, had been solved.

They carried banners on which were written “we want chairs and tables; we give you three days to respond”.

Gauteng Department of Education Steve Mabona said officials visited the school, and, he said, a delivery had been made at the school.

But, said the unhappy community, chairs and tables were not the only problem, but classes were overcrowded, learning was done in spaces with broken windows and doors, and the school had an ineffective feeding scheme which meant a lot were forced to learn on empty stomachs.

Also on the list of problems at the school that led to the disruption of learning was how the school was neglected and had no fencing, and it had been allowed to deteriorate over the years.

Mokgadi Mashike was part of the protest, and she said they are happy with the delivery of the furniture, but it was not enough.

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“They made a delivery on Tuesday, then another delivery on Wednesday. It is a step in the right direction.”

However, Mashike, said they are still waiting for six mobile classrooms promised and fencing.

“The department promised to deliver the mobile classes, and we still need a fence around the school.

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“We need the mobile classrooms to accommodate the number of the learners at the school.”

The learners had explained how painful it was to be expected to write exams yet they had no chairs or tables and had to write on their laps.

They said sitting in classrooms with broken windows, doors and fencing was a major problem and that issue had to be attended to as soon as possible, as winter was knocking and they would not be able to concentrate in the cold.

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A protesting mother also said the school governing body had sent emails to relevant officials, but the officials were silent on the issues raised.

She said she was in the school’s SGB 20 years ago, and since even after her own children – and now a grandchild went there, everything remained the same.

She said: “We are tired of empty promises. We had tried to help but nothing has been done.”

They said the school needed at least six mobile classrooms, needed an upgrade of infrastructure to ensure safety, and they needed to feeding scheme to work efficiently, or they would shut the school gates again.

Learning at the school continued by Thursday, but, parents vowed they would not hesitate to close it again.

Pretoria News

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