As outgoing chairperson of three terms totalling nine years on the Kidd’s Beach Primary School governing body, I can add the same comments and frustration to the school rebuild issue raised in Ann Crotty’s piece (Meet the Eastern Cape schools the province desperately tries to forget, January 16).
We are a 100-year-old school with a mix of brick and prefab classes that are more than 70 years old.
Some of the prefab slabs were recovered from schools in Duncan Village that were no longer using them and upgraded to provide classroom space for an area that is growing exponentially. Some of the classes have asbestos walls with holes broken through into the classroom, some have broken floorboards where teachers have fallen through the floor, but the class still has to be used due to lack of facilities.
Being on the coast, rust is a problem and many of the windows are rusted through. Ongoing development has seen the school double in size in just eight years.
I have made numerous submissions for the school to be upgraded, additional classrooms provided and the condemned classes removed.
I sent information to the national basic education ministry as far back as 2011, only to be fobbed off after the e-mail was forwarded
I was given a reference number and informed that the Eastern Cape person who did not deliver in the first place would get back to me. I still have not heard anything from that person.
Kidd’s Beach Primary is also "on the priority list" among the top five. I wonder how many schools have been given that false information?
In 2015, a quantity surveyor did an assessment and we have not progressed since then. During 2017, I received absolutely no feedback from the department on any of my queries regarding issues facing the school.
It seems the current tactic is to refuse to speak to the governing body. Our headmaster is fantastic at scraping funds together to maintain the rusty classes and build whatever brick buildings he can with our own school fees to accommodate the school’s needs. We often feel that because we maintain the school in some form of working order, it is constantly overlooked for a much needed upgrade.
The department seems incapable of delivering anything in this province.
All I have seen is decline and taking away. The staff allocation per pupil has been cut year on year by finding new ways to calculate the number of posts versus pupils enrolled at the school — but that is a topic for another day.