PICS: Mamelodi's Modiri Technical School so dilapidated it's called 'jungle school'

By SAKHILE NDLAZI Time of article published Feb 7, 2020

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Pretoria - Modiri Technical School in Mamelodi West is so dilapidated that learners refer to it as “jungle school”.

The school has been in the spotlight this week after the governing body and learners locked its gates, unhappy with the appointment of a new principal.

Hundreds of learners were turned back as the group, joined by community leaders, manned the gates.

Yesterday, the learners embarked on a go-slow and classes were disrupted and eventually cancelled just before break by members of the Congress of South African Students.

Local chairperson of the organisation, Katlego Mona, said they would continue to disrupt classes until the Gauteng Education Department intervened.

“This school has been the talk of the town for years now without any intervention. The school is a disgrace to say the least. From the way it has been managed all the way to the infrastructure and facilities. I don’t even want to touch on the appalling pass rate. All this must change,” he said.

On Monday, the governing body and parents locked everyone outside the school and demanded that their preferred candidate, Samuel Kekana, be appointed as principal instead of him being transferred to another school.

Kekana has been acting principal for a year, and parents said he had achieved an incredible turnaround at the school. During his tenure, the school increased its matric pass rate from 27% to 73% last year with him as acting principal. Yesterday, learners and members of the governing body said the school was in a sad state. From the entrance, there is evidence that grass has been uncut in years. There is also a stench to put off any prospective learner.

But contrary to that, the school is “packed to the rafters”; in each class three children share one small desk.

Some even have to stand during the lessons because of the lack of chairs.

Chairperson of the student movement, Nokuthula Moloto, said the school got all the “rejected and forgotten” children.

“They just give us learners from all walks of life. Some have failed terribly, others need specialised care and teaching while some require psychological assistance; they all come to us. And we are not adequately trained to deal with some of the learners,” she said.

Learners lamented the worrisome state of the school where they continue to learn in a terribly unconducive environment.

Classrooms at the school are in a terrible state, and apart from being overcrowded, teaching takes place mostly in prefab facilities with little ventilation and no fans.

The school lacks basic education facilities and learners learn in dilapidated buildings with open roofs, broken walls and floors.

“The school ground has been weakened by the high exposure to erosion and heavy rainfall. Grass has taken over the ground of the school building while the roofs have carved in.

“Other issues include overcrowding, absenteeism and poor attitude of both educators and learners,” said one learner.

The toilets are in an appalling state, with a stench that forces some learners to relieve themselves outside.

The provincial Department of Education had yet to comment late yesterday.

Pretoria News

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