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Bad news for learners and teachers

On 18 February 2020, the Mthatha high court requested the Eastern Cape Department of Education to give 65 homerooms at four Transkei schools within 90 days. Until this point, just 17 have been assembled. Presently the Legal Resources Center (LRC) is back in court attempting to get the 2020 request implemented. 

At Enduku Junior Secondary School in Engcobo, Eastern Cape, four students need to share a solitary work area. The school was guaranteed 11 extra study halls after the LRC initially took the Eastern Cape instruction office to court in 2018. However, nothing was finished. 


Dudumayo Senior Secondary School in Mqanduli, which has almost twofold the number of students it can oblige, was guaranteed 17 study halls. 


At Mnceba Senior Secondary in Ntabankulu, a few classes have 80 students and large numbers of them need to remain during class. 


At Attwell Madala Senior Secondary School in Mthatha, 17 of the guaranteed 22 prefab study halls have been assembled. 


Latrines in each of the four schools are in awful condition. At Dudumayo Secondary, young men pee against dividers to keep away from the smudged, broken pit latrines. 


The schools' battle with the office traces all the way back to 20 August 2018, when the LRC, addressing guardians of students at the schools, recorded an application in the Mthatha high court looking for a court request for the division to give more study halls at each school. 


In February 2020, the court requested the Department to give 22 homerooms at Attwell Madala, 11 study halls at Enduku, eight homerooms at Dudumayo, and 24 homerooms at Mnceba. Just the 17 homerooms at Attwell Madala have been fabricated. The LRC is presently asking the Mthatha high court to authorize the 2020 court request, and for the Department to give the excess study halls inside 30 days. 


On the off chance that this doesn't occur, the schools need the head of division Dr Naledi Mbude to show up in court inside 14 days to clarify the justifications for why not, and to affirm when the study halls will be given. 


In an assertion, the LRC said the division had faulted the difficulties of the Covid-19 pandemic for its inability to fix the schools. "Be that as it may, [they] neglected to react to this emergency when it was drawn out into the open by the LRC in 2018," the LRC said. "The Covid-19 pandemic can in this manner presently don't be blamed. The state has had numerous chances to determine the congestion at the schools and has known about the unsalvageable damage this causes to students' learning potential." 


In his testimony in the interest of Attwell Madala school's court application, School Governing Body (SGB) seat Joseph Budaza said that a great many kids at the four schools had been "getting essentially no instruction and this has been continuing for a year at this point. The drawn-out effect of this break of their right to training will without a doubt be extreme and will truly think twice about possibilities of completing school," Budaza said. 


He said roughly 3,000 students are either exposed to helpless learning conditions or are not going to class at all because of class pivots that have been executed to control the spread of Covid-19. 


Last Wednesday and Thursday, GroundUp visited the schools. 


Dudumayo Senior Secondary School 


Nontathu Mdaka, school head at Dudumayo Senior Secondary School, said stuffing had been an issue beginning around 2018. 


"Congestion and broken latrines are our primary issues. We have 14 study halls and our school is simply appropriate to oblige 490 students. However, we have surpassed the breaking point on the grounds that the other two secondary schools don't offer history subjects. Thus, we have 958 students." 


"The Department guaranteed us in 2018 in a gathering in East London that it will change over Ntekelelo Junior Secondary into a secondary school to facilitate this congestion. It likewise guaranteed us 14 pre-assembled homerooms. 

"Beginning around 2019, the authorities have been in and out of our schools studying the land. In March this year, the authorities returned again and put the stamping stakes ashore where they will erect the prefabs. In any case, until the present time nothing has occurred at any point ever," said Mdaka. 


Mdaka said stuffing has influenced matric results, particularly in Mathematics and Physical Science. "Every educator should have 35 students. In any case, here we have a grade 11 class with 53 students. Each student merits extraordinary consideration particularly in these subjects," she said. 


The school has turned to utilizing a rotational framework to facilitate the tension on educators and to check the spread of Covid-19. 


"We permit grades 11 and 12 to come each day since we are worried about their matric results. In any case, different grades come just two weeks in a month," Mdaka said. 


At Enduku Junior Secondary School, guardians have turned to building study halls themselves. (Photograph: Mkhuseli Sizani) 


Enduku Junior Secondary School 


Exhausted guardians of Enduku Junior Secondary School in Engcobo chose to fabricate extra study halls after the training division neglected to do as such. 


The school has 1,500 students from grades R to 10, and 23 homerooms — ten of which were worked by guardians including a PC lab, said SGB part Nobubele Gqabu. 


"It is packed and our furniture is broken. Every work area is shared by four students under these Covid-19 conditions. … This year we had more than ten students tainted and educators," Gqabu said. 


"We are wary of the Department's vacant guarantees since it is betting with our youngsters' future. This school was worked by the local area during the 1940s. In any case, the authorities have ignored it," said Gqabu. 


She said after the LRC indicted the Department in 2018, the authorities visited the school the next year and vowed to assemble 11 pre-assembled homerooms. 


"In any case, until the present time we are as yet hanging tight for them," Gqabu said. 


Mlungisi Dyiki, a previous SGB part, said, "For a long time we have been requesting that the Department assemble us extra homerooms. Yet, we were informed that we ought to disregard the block structures in light of the fact that there is no cash." 


Accordingly, guardians had begun building the actual homerooms. "We were unable to crease our arms and let the division annihilate our youngsters' future with void guarantees", he said. 


"Every one of the novices is charged R250 for school expenses per student and R200 for current students. This cash assisted us with building the ten extra study halls including a PC lab," he said. 


Four of the pre-assembled study halls at Mnceba Senior Secondary School were set up by guardians themselves. (Photograph: Mkhuseli Sizani) 


Mnceba Senior Secondary School 


Guardians at Mnceba Senior Secondary in Ntabankulu additionally chose to fabricate four new study halls at the school after a few void guarantees from the office. 


SGB director Mpendulo Matiwane said the school had been fabricated right off the bat during the 1970s. It has 1,750 students from grades 7 to 12. 


"We have 29 homerooms and four of the pre-assembled study halls were worked by guardians for R20,000," Matiwane said. 


"We needed to construct these homerooms on the grounds that the lesser levels are packed. There are classes with 80 students and the greater part of them stand while showing what happens. Work areas and seats are broken. Floors are harmed and we continue to fix them. 


He said the school just permits students in grades 11 and 12 to go to every day. Students in lower grades go to class on a turn premise. 


Attwell Madala Senior Secondary School is as yet sitting tight for the remainder of the guaranteed pre-assembled study halls. (Photograph: Mkhuseli Sizani) 


Attwell Madala Senior Secondary School 


Budaza said Attwell Madala school at first had just had fifteen homerooms. "We have three extra lodges and 1,566 students are sharing these homerooms. Rooftops in eight of them and the workplace of the chief are spilling. During substantial downpours we let the students return home." 


He said before the Covid-19 pandemic, one instructor would instruct up to 90 students for every class. 


"We additionally had numerous Covid-19 cases for the two students and educators. Presently we just permit grade 12 to go to consistently. Any remaining students just go to three days per month," Budaza said. 


He said they just saw workers for hire at the school following an occurrence in 2019 where students consumed existing study halls. 


"The understudies burnt five shacks that were utilized as homerooms and closed down the school for five days, requesting more study halls. 


Workers for hire had set up 17 prefab study halls rather than 22, said Budaza. 


As per Budaza, the leftover prefab homerooms should have been finished in August 2021. 


Training division's reaction 


Enoch Sithole, the site administrator of Mpumalanga Construction, affirmed that there were installment delays from the division. 


"We began in March 2019 and we should complete in April 2022. The undertaking cost R68-million yet it was postponed for 80 days in May because of non-installment by the Department." 


"However, 70% of the work is finished," he said. 


At the point when asked what the reasons were for the postponements, common instruction representative Malibongwe Mtima said they were brought about by "delicate acquirements" at Dudumayo Senior Secondary and Enduku Junior Secondary School. 


"The ventures were postponed because of spending plan limitations inside the past monetary year 2020-21. They have accordingly been offered under crisis acquisition rules to consent to the legal dispute. The worker for hire arrangement is to be made before the finish of October 2021 and site handovers will happen in the primary seven-day stretch of November 2021." DM 


Attwell Madala Senior Secondary SchoolDudumayo Senior Secondary SchoolEnduku Junior Secondary SchoolMnceba Senior Secondary SchoolNaledi MbudeRight to educationTranskei schools 


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Dudumayo Eastern Cape Department of Education LRC Mnceba Mthatha

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