ActionSA Barred from Handing Over School Supplies

After being barred from entering the school to conduct a site inspection and to handover school materials, the Amajuba Caucus Leader, Faziel Cassim and myself stood outside the school’s locked gates to assess the situation.

A tin style classroom located at the back of the school, housed foundation phase pupils who were visibly in the middle of a class session. With the heat in Newcastle reaching temperatures of 40 Degrees Celsius, one can only imagine the heat those pupils have to endure during this heat wave.

What is most concerning is the bringing together of two to three different grades into one classroom, with the presence of a single teacher.

Built over 20 years ago, surviving on three teachers, one substitute teacher and the school principal being forced to teach some classes, the school only has three classrooms to house grades 1 to 7 pupils. According to an informant who wished to remain anonymous, the school has been working on a system where grades 1, 2 and 3 were all under one classroom and grades 4, 5 and 6 were under one classroom, each with a single teacher.

The principal of the school who was appointed last year, has managed to split some of the classes by utilising parts of the staff room as a classroom. By doing so, grade 1 and 2 are in one classroom and grade 3 is in a single classroom. Grades 4 and 5 share a classroom, and grades 6 and 7 have their own classrooms respectively.

We are further concerned that ActionSA leadership in the Amajuba Region has been making numerous stationary and sanitary towel donations to the school, however, according to the school principal, he has since been told to disallow ActionSA from donating school materials for the learners.

Education has no politics. It should not matter who brings assistance to schools, as our main focus is bringing dignity to pupils from underprivileged schools.

Our aim for these school visits is to bring awareness to issues that are faced by teachers and learners in public schools across KwaZulu-Natal, and not play politics.

Our main question is: what was the Department of Education’s plan when they built a 3-classroom school to cater for foundation and intermediate phase grades? According to one of the neighbours of the school, Emthunzini has always catered for these grades, which is of grave concern, as one cannot attribute this to the school’s growth.