Mfuleni schools facing major overcrowding challenges are making the most of not having enough classrooms with children crammed into desks and a hall.
About 111 Grade 8 pupils who have been divided into three large groups are being taught inside a hall at Mfuleni High School.
When the “Cape Times” visited the school on Monday, one teacher was trying to juggle teaching two groups of pupils in the hall, while others who were placed on the stage were waiting for their turn to be taught.
“We are hoping that the department will sort out this issue with the urgency it requires. At this stage I can’t even say these children are learning properly or we are teaching effectively. It is also difficult to discipline them, but we are trying our best with what we have,” said the teacher.
At Mfuleni Technical Academy, a prefab school, one of the Grade 8 classes had 65 pupils while the Grade 9 teacher-learner ratio was one to 60. Learners were crammed into desks.
According to the school, they applied for additional classrooms which they had not yet received.
ANC education MPL Khalid Sayed, who visited the schools, said he was shocked that construction of brick and mortar of the Mfuleni Technical Academy, which was expected to start in 2022, had not started.
“The prefab school was established in 2021 due to lack of schools in the area and after the pressure that we, along with the community, had to apply.
“Mfuleni is known to be one of the hot spot areas where there is a massive demand, but no plans are being implemented to address this well known challenge.
“Two years later, there is still nothing on the site of the school. The situation in some of the classrooms is sad and this is the same problem in other schools.
This is happening in a DA-led province,” said Sayed.
Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson Bronagh Hammond confirmed that both schools would receive additional mobile classrooms.
“As an alternative to the new school being built, which was delayed as a result of the budget cuts, the WCED has managed to find funds to increase the classroom capacity in the interim.
The school (Mfuleni Technical Academy) is in the process of getting six new classrooms which will assist with accommodation numbers.
“To reduce class sizes on a daily basis, the learners are being rotated on each alternative day until the additional classrooms are implemented.
“This is a temporary situation. The new classrooms will include furniture and equipment to cater for the needs of the school, as well as educators,” said Hammond.