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Parents threaten to close three Uitenhage schools in standoff with Dept

By Afikile Lugunya - Feb 20, 2019
Parents threaten to close three Uitenhage schools in standoff with Dept

A shut down of three schools in Uitenhage - Thubhili Primary School, Winterberg Primary School and Gamble Street Secondary School, has been planned for Thursday as parents demand better infrastructure for their children.

According to Mgcini Mejane, a liason of a protest march that will also take place on Thursday, they are demanding to see the Eastern Cape of Education, Mlungisi Mvoko, over the infrastructure challenges at the three schools.

Mejane said that this was a continuing march from January 2019 that didn't yield any positive results.

Thubhili Primary School challenges

According to Mejane, Thubhili Primary School has been under construction for the last three years.

As a result, children only learn for three hours and afterwards have to give other learners a chance to also learn - again for three hours.

Apparently there are incidents of vandalism that have occurred more than once at Thubhili Primary School because of the lack of security.

Infrastructure and security challenge at Winterberg Primary School

Mejane said that Winterberg Primary School is also facing an infrastructure problems.

Apparently the school was burned last year and a contractor was appointed to do repair work.

The contractor started work, but they never finished their work.

Apparently, the Eastern Cape Department of Education has distanced itself from those problems.

The school is apparently being vandalized as well.

She said that the teachers are being terrorised because there is no fencing.

Mejane said that learners are also being robbed inside school premises and there is no security.

She said that up until to date the department has not helped them.

"We called meetings with the Eastern Cape Department of Education's district officials and told them about these problems and were shocked to see that nothing has been done.

"The district director is also aware of this. They said that we should liase with Bhisho because construction started so there is nothing more they can do about that," Mejane described.

They now want to see the MEC because they believe that he has the power to fix their issues.

Gamble Street Secondary School

Mejane said that Gamble Street Secondary School was supposed to be built in 2010.

She said that the school is more than 100 years old and a number of classrooms where condemned and cannot be used again.

Mejane said that there are now shortages of classes and there is overcrowding.

"This thing is ugly and it's only girls, who stay there while boys were told to leave because of the buildings declared hazardous.

"In January, a person sent by Bhisho came here after three weeks and parents were angry because the person didn't know anything about our demands," she described.

The Eastern Cape Department of Education spokesperson, Malibongwe Mtima, has confirmed that the MEC Mvoko will be in Uitenhage on Thursday to engage with the parents.

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