Pupils in Gauteng schools will have to share resources in classrooms, as the provincial department of education has been faced with the pressure to place all 16 000 pupils on the waiting list for schools when the academic year started last week.
Gauteng MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi said 7 ooo of the 16 000 unplaced pupils had been placed so far.
This means 45 pupils instead of 40 will occupy a classroom. “The only challenge we have now is resources. We have to ensure that we avail resources to these schools but certainly pupils would be compelled to share resources like books,” Lesufi said yesterday.
The pupils were not placed due to late applications and relocations.
Lesufi said although parents would be uncomfortable with having their children share resources and being in the abnormally-sized classes, they would have to bear with the department until a permanent solution was found.
In the northern areas of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, angry parents shut down schools saying they would not have their children be “stuffed” in overcrowded classes with no teachers.
The area came to a standstill last year when violent protests erupted after 33 schools were shut down due to a number of issues, including teacher shortages. A teacher from Gelvan Park Primary School said she was now teaching 70 pupils a class. “It is difficult, it is very hard to control such a huge number of kids and on top of that we do not even have enough resources at school,” she said.
South African Democratic Teachers Union provincial administrator Sindisile Zamisa said the department of education had promised to make 1 665 teachers available for vacancies, “but nothing has happened”.