Classrooms lack chairs and tables
Pupils at some Limpopo schools are forced to study under trees because of overcrowding and a shortage of classrooms.
During a visit to John Mutheiwana High School in Vuwani, near Thohoyandou, a Sowetan team found grade 11 pupils studying under a tree because the school is overcrowded.
The school's classrooms are supposed to accommodate between 30 and 40 pupils, but a grade 8 classroom overflowed with more than 80 pupils.
Musandiwa Tshirufho, a grade 8 pupil, said students were often tired because they had to stand for long periods of time while attending classes.
"We want more classrooms because we cannot continue attending [school] under a tree," he said.
At Thivhilaeli Secondary School in Maniini, another school in the area, one classroom accommodated 88 pupils.
Nthambeleni Mukwevho, a pupil at the school, said students studied under difficult conditions, citing classroom temperature as one aspect. He said they also had to put their books on their laps to be able to write.
The principals of the two schools declined to comment because "they are not allowed to talk to the media".
Spokesman for the Limpopo Education Department, Ndo Mangala, said his department had already distributed more than 500 mobile classrooms to needy schools.
Mangala said the provincial department had targeted 239 schools to be built this year.
"It is true that we are experiencing a shortage of classrooms and that is forcing pupils to attend lessons under trees," he said.
"The Department of Education has build 95 schools to improve the situation," Mangala said.