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In Shock|Anc Eastern Cape Department Refused To Obey Court Order

The Mthatha high court ordered the Eastern Cape Department of Education to provide 65 classrooms at four Transkei schools within 90 days on February 18, 2020. Only 17 have been built thus yet. The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) is back in court this time, attempting to get the 2020 order implemented.Four students must share a single desk at Enduku Junior Secondary School in Engcobo, Eastern Cape. After the LRC initially brought the Eastern Cape education department to court in 2018, the school was promised 11 more classrooms. However, nothing was done.

Dudumayo Senior Secondary School in Mqanduli, which has nearly tripled the capacity, has been promised 17 classrooms.Some classes at Mnceba Senior Secondary School in Ntabankulu contain 80 students, and many of them must stand throughout class.At Mthatha's Attwell Madala Senior Secondary School, 17 of the anticipated 22 prefabricated classrooms have been constructed.The toilets at all four schools are in disrepair. To escape the dirty, damaged pit toilets at Dudumayo Secondary, lads pee on the walls.

The schools' battle with the department began on August 20, 2018, when the LRC, on behalf of parents of learners at the schools, filed a suit in the Mthatha high court requesting that the department supply extra classrooms at each school.The Department was directed by the court in February 2020 to supply 22 classrooms at Attwell Madala, 11 classrooms at Enduku, eight classrooms at Dudumayo, and 24 classrooms at Mnceba. Only 17 classrooms in Attwell Madala have been constructed. The LRC has now petitioned the Mthatha High Court to execute the court order issued in 2020, and for the Department to supply the remaining classrooms within 30 days.

If this does not occur, the schools want the department head, Dr. Naledi Mbude, to appear in court within 14 days to explain why and to clarify when classrooms would be given.The LRC stated in a statement that the department blamed its failure to repair the schools on the obstacles posed by the Covid-19 epidemic. "However, [they] failed to respond to this problem when the LRC brought it to their notice in 2018," the LRC stated. "As a result, the Covid-19 epidemic can no longer be cited as an explanation." The state has had several opportunities to address school overcrowding and is well aware of the irreversible harm this does to students' learning potential."

School Governing Body (SGB) head Joseph Budaza stated in his statement on behalf of Attwell Madala school's court case that hundreds of pupils at the four schools had been "getting almost no education for a year now." The long-term consequences of this violation of their right to an education will surely be significant, jeopardizing their chances of finishing school," Budaza added.According to him, about 3,000 students are either subjected to poor learning circumstances or are not attending school at all as a result of class rotations intended to combat the spread of Covid-19.

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Source: Daily Maveric

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Dudumayo Eastern Cape Legal Resources Centre Mnceba Senior Mthatha


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