As schools enter their third week of learning disgruntled parents at La Rochelle Primary School took to the Gauteng Department of Education’s offices in protest. Parents are complaining about the school being too small to accommodate every learner and that there is a lack of sufficient mobile classrooms. According to one of the protesting parents, Patience Onyenali, the school’s main hall has been turned into one classroom that accommodates learners from three different grades.
“All pupils have to study simultaneously with one educator teaching a subject totally different from the next. It’s chaos and the kids are complaining about the noise levels”, she exclaimed. The school’s governing body was also present and 3 members from the leadership were inside the building and negotiating with representatives of the department. The SGB first communicated with the department in 2015 asking for 6 mobile classrooms in order to curb the dilemma but the department has only provided 2 thus far and it seems the parents’ pleas fell on deaf ears.
Ex-SGB member and parent Lebo Masisi also vented her frustration and told Gauteng News about the challenges she and her daughter are currently facing. “The department accepted 60 more learners last year but our kids are currently not in school. My daughter was accepted at La Rochelle Primary School but there is not enough space to accommodate her”, Masisi explains.
The school had to take drastic measures and use the security guardroom as a classroom. Masisi further explained that this room is way too small to be considered a place of learning. The school’s infrastructure, as she puts it, is historically inappropriate for a learning institution.
“We’ve been waiting for MEC Lesufi to come and address us regarding this issue from the first week of schools re-opening but he never showed up. We then decided that it was best for us to come and picket at the Education department’s doorstep”, she concludes.