education in a 'health hazard'

McKeed Kotlolo

McKeed Kotlolo

The Gauteng education department will build a proper school where a dilapidated "death trap" and "health hazard" currently stands in Mpumalanga.

The makeshift Sikhulisiwe Primary School at Ekangala near Bronkhorstspruit was established four years ago. The corrugated-steel classrooms and the very tiny staff-cum-principal's office is not fit to be called a school, said unhappy parents.

The township, which is in Mpumalanga, falls under the Kungwini municipality in Gauteng.

Early last year, the Gauteng department of education (GDE) took over the administration of 16 schools that were previously under the Mpumalanga education department.

Yesterday, GDE spokesman Panyaza Lesufi confirmed that the refurbishing of the school would start as soon as the paperwork has been completed.

He said: "The school did not appear on our priority list, but we have since included it as a priority."

Lesufi said that the delay to build a proper school was caused by a dispute with the local municipality about the ownership of the land on which the school is situated.

He said that construction of the new school was expected to start at any time and would be completed next year.

On the first day of the 2008 school year, some classrooms were flooded because of rain leaking through the roof.

Though the staff were ready to teach and pupils wanted to learn, the conditions made it difficult for teachers to teach and pupils to concentrate. The muddy and unpaved school ground also made it difficult for teachers and pupils to move around.

Some parents came to fetch their children long before the lunch-break because they said they were worried that their children would get sick.

Locals refer to Sikhulisiwe Primary as the shack school.

Parents are unhappy that their children have not had a proper school building or facilities for the past four years.