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Teachers at a Soweto high school working in parked cars as staffroom is too small, says SGB

Learners at Thubelihle High School in Soweto are protesting, expressing unhappiness over the small, cramped spaces they are taught from. File Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/ANA

Learners at Thubelihle High School in Soweto are protesting, expressing unhappiness over the small, cramped spaces they are taught from. File Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/ANA

Published May 12, 2022

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Pretoria – Learners and parents at Thubelihle High School in White City, Soweto, have shut down the institution, demanding attention from the Gauteng Department of Education over their “dilapidated” infrastructure.

A member of the school governing body, Brenda Mfazi, said there have been numerous attempts to get the school revamped “but nothing has been done”.

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“As you can see today, the learners are protesting. They feel that enough is enough. They have been in this building for the past five years. They feel that they are being neglected. We are the only school around here that is still platooning, our learners are not back to school 100% because we do not have enough classes, the space to accommodate all our learners,” Mfazi told broadcaster eNCA.

She says the school has around 1 000 learners and they have to rotate their attendance. Some learners are taught in containers, which Mfazi said are generally overcrowded.

“We have been to the MEC’s (Panyaza Lesufi) office, we did not get any help. We even hand-delivered the letter to him and there was no response. We tried to communicate with the DID (Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development) and still we are being taken from pillar to post. We gave a report to parents yesterday,” said Mfazi.

“Parents felt that enough is enough … we have been speaking about this thing for five years and there is nothing happening. They feel that in South Africa, the only language the superiors understand is protest.”

Taking the news crew on a tour of the “dangerous” premises, Mfazi said the administration block was too small to accommodate the school’s teaching staff.

“It is also not up to standard. It is very small, and we have a lot of teachers. The teachers end up sitting in their cars because they cannot fit in their staffroom. That staffroom can only accommodate about 10.”

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She said the school has about 30 teachers.

“They cannot fit here,” she said.

Mfazi said the parents and community members have locked the school principal and learners out of the school.

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