Schooling has been disrupted at the Gqumashe primary school in Alice, Eastern Cape. This as learners, parents and teachers protest to demand a conductive learning and teaching environment.
The school, which the community built in 1965, is in a state of despair. The protesters assembled at Cape College in Fort Beaufort to hand over a petition to the district director of education.
“The purpose of this protest is to complain or to talk to whoever who can hear us about the depreciating buildings of this school. The department of education says the structure should be conducive to teaching and learning, but as it is in this structure, no teaching and learning can happen. The circuit managers have come and written reports, saying this school should be demolished, this school is a health hazard,” explains Lumka Phinda, who is the school principal.
The Eastern Cape Education Department says it’s looking into the matter. The department’s spokesperson Malibongwe Mtima says, “As the Eastern Cape department of education, we want to appeal to our people. Already there are two teams that have been sent. The first one was from the department that went to the school to check whether the school is still part of whether the learner numbers are still authorising us to do this; whether there hasn’t been any changes. Subsequent to that, we appointed DBSA as an implementing agent that is supposed to do this. We want to promise our people that within the medium term expenditure framework, we are going to build the schools.”
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