Parents protest at Eastern Cape education department after broken promises
Parents picket outside the Department of Education’s district office in Gqeberha to demand that a school get a fence, toilets and more staff, among other things. The parents said, “We are here to give the District Director seven days to respond to our memorandum of demands or he will see the wrath of the parents”.
By Mkhuseli Sizani
- Parents at Joe Slovo Primary in Gqeberha marched to the Department of Education’s district office.
- They are demanding the school be fenced, get mast lighting, flush toilets, proper classrooms and more staff.
- The department had promised to fence the school in 2020 but could not due to a lack of funds.
- It has now promised to do the fence in the next financial year which starts in April.
About 50 parents from Joe Slovo Primary in Gqeberha marched to the Department of Education, demanding to meet with District Director Ernest Gorgonzola over infrastructure issues at the school.
The parents say the school is in desperate need of a fence, mast lighting, flush toilets, proper classrooms and more staff.
Just over a year ago, parents shut down the school for two weeks because they were concerned for the safety of learners and staff following serious incidents of theft and vandalism. The provincial department at the time promised to fence the school but these plans were brought to a halt at the start of lockdown.
Parent Ncedile Soxujwa said officials visited the school in September. When no progress had been made for weeks, parents forcefully closed the school again on 19 October.
“The department again promised that the fencing would resume in December. But the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) said it could not get started because it had not yet been paid by the department to do the job,” he said.
“We are sick and tired of waiting. We are here to give the District Director seven days to respond to our memorandum of demands or he will see the wrath of the parents,” he said.
Nontobeko Cakwebe, School Governing Body treasurer, said the school had to hire four men at a cost of R1,200 per month to patrol the school grounds.
“Our school has become a grazing field for animals and a dumping place for dead dogs. We have 1,137 learners who share eight septic tank toilets. The septic hole is very dangerous because it is only covered with a plank amongst tall grass. We don’t understand why we still use this system when we have a sewage system,” she said.
Cakwebe said most classes were overcrowded with as many as 47 learners per class. She said learners often battled in the heat of the prefabricated classrooms during summer and the cold of winter. “We want our school yard to be extended and for the appointment of two grade R teachers and school security because our budget has been exhausted with all of the repairs due to vandalism,” she said.
Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC spokesperson, said they suspended services at the school after the department informed them in a letter that there were no funds available. “On the status of the project, the CDC is awaiting instruction from the department on when it will avail funding.”
Mphakamisi Hlekani, Chief Education Specialist, Labour Relations and Human Resources, accepted the parents’ memorandum on behalf of Gorgonzola.
Provincial Education spokesperson Malibongwe Mtima said Joe Slovo is one of eight schools in the district that will be fenced in the new financial year that starts in April. “We appeal to the parents to be patient.”
A Diploma in Grade R Teaching is the minimum qualification for Grade R teachers. The purpose of the Diploma in Grade R Teaching is to develop teachers who can demonstrate general principles, as well as focused knowledge and skills appropriate for Grade R teaching.
At Nedbank, they offer the following solutions through our frontline clusters, Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking, Nedbank Retail and Business Banking, Nedbank Wealth and Nedbank Africa Regions:
- A wide range of wholesale and retail banking services.
- A growing insurance, asset management and wealth management offering.
A social grant refers to grants paid by government to South African citizens who are in need of assistance. In South Africa, social grants are administered by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA). Social grants are in place to help improve standards of living in society and are given to people who are vulnerable to poverty and in need of state support.
SARS eFiling is a free, online process for the submission of returns and declarations and other related services.
This free service allows taxpayers, tax practitioners and businesses to register free of charge and submit returns and declarations, make payments and perform a number of other interactions with SARS in a secure online environment.
Most popular articles today
Academy Training Group (Pty) Ltd was established in 1997 and serves as a private training institution. We have over 24 years of reputable experience in the Education and Training industry! Academy Training Group is registered with Department of Higher Education. Their objective is to provide practical training and knowledge for a professional level of competency. Full-time lecturers at Academy Training Group are well qualified and hold relevant qualifications. ATG’s bespoken training courses are designed to deliver maximum benefits in the key areas of today’s business world.
Violent protests took place on Thursday at the Mangosuthu University of Technology. The situation seems to have calmed down, however, classes remain suspended. The Minister and the MEC of education in the province have addressed the matter.
Applications for Trimester 2 are open at Northern Cape Urban TVET College. This is for engineering studies. Apply now before it's too late!