North West Legislature’s Committee on education concerned over safety of learners at Boschpoort Combined School
The North West Provincial Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Education, Sports, Arts, Culture and Traditional Affairs raised a serious concerns over the safety of learners at Boschpoort Combined School near Ottosdal in Ngaka Modiri Molema District.
This came after the Committee went on an oversight visit. The committee discovered that classrooms are overcrowded and there is poor maintenance of the infrastructure. The walls are cracked and the ceiling is falling. The earth tremor that occurred last year has worsened the situation.
Boschpoort Combined School has learner enrolment of 700 and 23 teachers who reside from Tigane, Letsopa and nearby farming communities. The Ablution facilities for learners are frequently blocked, leaving the learners to relieve themselves in the bushes. There is no security and access control, which puts the lives of learners in danger, as matriculants sleep in the classrooms during weekends. This is due to the unavailability of scholar transport during weekends.
According to the Principal of the school, Mr Lucky Khumalo, the school was meant to be upgraded into a mega school by the Department of Education and Sports Development but the plan was never implemented.
“We have incapacitated teachers in the school with only 13 of the 23 teachers are qualified and the others are just graduates. “This is because of recruitment challenges we face. In most cases, qualified teachers are not sustainable for long periods as they complain of the distance between town and the farm area, and other general socio-economic challenges that hamper their desired basic needs,” said Mr Khumalo
He said this has negatively impacted on the performance of learners at the school which has left matriculants at a pass rate of 42%. The school is situated in a private owned land and there is a game farm with wild animals posing a danger to learners.
The Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Boitumelo Moiloa said the Committee will meet with the department and request responses on matters of upgrading the school and acquiring the land.
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SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS