Angry parents closed down the school, complaining about incomplete toilets.
Parents and pupils at Divhani Primary School closed the school last Thursday, stating that they were fearing for the safety of the children. The anger and frustration apparently stem from the lack of progress with the construction of ablution blocks.
“Pupils are relieving themselves at shaky and dilapidated buildings while the government has coughed up millions for a new structure,” said the school governing body’s spokesperson, Mr Tshisaphungo Tshipuke.
A parent with two children at the school said the toilet problem was putting the safety and lives of the pupils at risk. “The young ones are very curious and might end up falling inside the toilet pits,” the parent said.
The school principal declined to comment and referred all questions to the Department of Education.
From what could be established, the contract to build new ablution facilities at the school was awarded to the contractor in 2016 and construction work started in October that year. The work was expected to be finished by March 2017. Almost two years later, work is progressing at a snail’s pace.
The SGB blames the education department for a lack of proper monitoring of the project. “We have been doing our job from the beginning, where we monitored the project,” says Tshipuke. “We don't understand why the project hasn’t been completed by now. Our children are crying and our feeling is that the department didn't manage their things correctly, somewhere, somehow.”
The spokesperson for the Department of Education, Mr Sam Makondo, said the department had met with the parents of the learners to provide clarity on some of the issues. “We shall continue as soon as the contractual issues between the contractor and the implementation agents are sorted out. As a department, we will in the meantime provide toilets and a service provider has since been appointed to delivered in that regard,” he said.
Date:01 March 2019 - By: Kaizer Nengovhela
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror more than a decade ago, in 2 000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.