Byline: Kelebogile Masemola

13 June 2022

There has been no schooling at Sediba sa Thuto Primary School in Mamelodi Extension 18, Tshwane for three weeks in view of the fact that the parents have shut down the school as a result of overcrowding in classrooms.

The accusations include lack of sanitation, chairs and tables and proper roads leading to the school, with children having to cross a river to get to school being their biggest concern.

It is intolerable that learners continue to be refused access to basic education due to continuous disruption of schooling.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education, Khume Ramulifho and the DA Mamelodi East Constituency Head, Cllr Peter Millar conducted an oversight inspection at the school on 13 June 2022.

They were stunned to discover that there are no signs of teaching and learning occurring at the school.

The school gates were closed, and no activities were detectable.

According to frustrated and infuriated parents, they have shut down the school because of overpopulation in classrooms and the terrible state of the mobile classrooms.

The classrooms are severely overcrowded.

“There are 74 learners per classroom and the environment is not conducive to learning and teaching.

It is unacceptable as our learners are being denied the dignity of learning in an adequate environment,” said Ramulifho.

The current number of mobile classrooms cannot accommodate the number of learners.

Most of the mobile classrooms are broken and pose a safety risk to both learners and teachers.

There is also long grass and a bush area next to the classrooms and there are allegations that there are snakes which is a danger to learners.

The parents arrogated that they requested the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) to provide the school with an additional seven mobile classrooms which they have not yet delivered.

The DA had a fruitful conversation with the parents who agreed that they will only allow their children to attend school when the mobile classrooms have been provided.

The DA demands that the Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi must provide this school with additional mobile classrooms as a matter of urgency.

“MEC Lesufi must hold the district officials to account for failing to intervene and assist this school and for depriving these learners of their rights to access education in a conducive environment.

We will also be tabling written questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) to ascertain when the school will be provided with additional mobile classrooms, and additional teachers and when the school will be replaced with a brick-and-mortar structure.

No learner is supposed to be deprived of their right to access basic education.

The DA will fight to ensure that this school is provided with all the necessary resources needed for learning and teaching to take place in a conducive environment,” said Ramulifho .

“We initially asked for 10 mobile classes, because this school is severely overcrowded.

This school has been here for more than ten years whereas other schools have been around for less than six years but have been well built.

We as parents are pleading with the department to provide proper sanitation and provide 10 mobile classes for our children because they are schooling in poor circumstances,” said Mmathapelo Sibasa, parent of a child schooling at Sediba sa Thuto primary school.