Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency(ANA).

JOHANNESBURG - The DA has called on Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi to provided alternative temporary classrooms at Carleton Jones High School.

"I will write to MEC Lesufi requesting that his department provide alternative classrooms as a matter of urgency," said the DA's Khume Ramulifho in a statement on Wednesday.

Ramulifho said the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) was aware of the severe challenge posed by inadequate numbers of classrooms at the school, "yet nothing had been done to ensure effective learning and teaching".

"The school was hit by tremor in 2008 and the building cracked. On the 5 April this year learners and teachers felt some unusual movement in the classrooms," said Ramulifho. 

"The department was informed, and the West Rand District Local municipality sent engineers to the school to assess the integrity of the classrooms which they declared unsafe for teaching and learning."

The DA said they had observed that the school had a shortage of 30 classrooms.

"The school opted to combine grade 8 and 9 learners in one class, while grade 10 and 11 learners were also combined in one class," Ramulifho said.

"These two overcrowded classes with over 140 learners are alternating which means only one class per day while other learners remain at home."

Ramulifho said the learners were not taught every day which had a significant impact on them completing the curriculum.

"The parents are now removing their children from this school; the number of learners have decreased from 1,062 at the beginning of this term to 1,048 learners."

He accused the GDE of depriving learners from Carleton Jones High of the access to basic education.

By late Wednesday morning the GDE had not responded to requests for comment.

African News Agency (ANA)