The pupils have not had enough desks and chairs since January, while some of their teachers allegedly lobby for carports to be installed in the parking area of the school, which has temporary mobile classrooms.
“These people are really playing with our children’s future. They are busy asking for carports to shelter their cars, while our children sit on blankets on the floor in this cold weather,” said a parent, who can not be named to protect her children’s identity.
“The principal knows all our concerns and this is why she is constantly looking over her shoulder and ensuring that no one takes cellphone pictures of the conditions that our children are subjected to at the school,” she said.
A visit by The Citizen team to the school yesterday established that the children whose classes do not have desks and chairs were placed at the back of the school. As the team took pictures of the school, classroom doors were shut after the principal refused to speak to The Citizen.
She instructed both teachers and pupils to steer clear of the news team.
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, who expressed disturbance at the pupils’ plight, said: “These are supposed to be picked up in our school readiness programme.
“I have asked the head of department to resolve this before the end of the week,” he said.
Cellphone footage leaked to The Citizen show pupils with just chairs writing on exercise books balanced on their knees, while some share a blanket and others sit flat on the classroom floor during teaching. More footage showed feeding scheme food stored in school toilets.
A grandmother, whose grandchild is also at the school, said: “This school has big problems.”
“The children do not even get homework, we do not know the exact school hours because they keep changing. After noticing that my grandchild hardly gets homework and asked her why, the following day she came back with homework to draw a watch,” she said.
The grandmother’s concerns were echoed by another parent, who said: “Children at that school go for up to four weeks without homework because some classes are without teachers. But their report cards contain fabricated marks claiming that they did well.”
The parent said when all these concerns are brought to the principal’s attention “she personalises the whole thing and reminds us that she is in control” and then allegedly tells members of the school governing body to go back to school because they are “uneducated on school matters”.
“She has gone as far as telling parents of children with learning problems that her school is not for pupils with disabilities. This is discrimination,” the parent said.