Maswie Secondary School’s Grade 10 class is so overcrowded that some of the subjects, such as mathematics and science, have to be conducted outside under the trees. Photo: Bernard Chiguvare.
The Tshakhuma branch of the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) has made an urgent call on the Limpopo Department of Basic Education to speed up the process of procuring mobile classrooms for the Grade 10 learners at Maswie Secondary school.
The school currently has 77 Grade 10 learners who all share a single classroom. Subjects such as social sciences, mathematics and physical science are conducted outside, under the trees.
According to members of the school governing body (SGB), the situation with overcrowded classrooms worsened when their neighbouring school, Mavhungu Andries Secondary, closed the stream for maths and physical science. Learners who take these subjects had to transfer to Maswie Secondary.
Tshakhuma SANCO says the situation at Maswie Secondary makes learning and teaching very difficult. “Having to conduct lessons under the trees is really not a conducive learning environment. The learners must first move chairs outside to sit on before their classes start and the time spent on preparation for the lessons is not compensated. People constantly walking by and making noise break learners’ attention, and when it rains there can be no lessons,” said Mr Joel Mulaudzi, secretary of the Tshakhuma SANCO branch.
This is not the first time SANCO has raised the issue with the Limpopo Department of Basic Education. In June this year, the department promised to deliver four mobile classrooms within four months, but this has still not been done. The department also promised to build 10 permanent classrooms and an administration block.
“We are expecting even more Grade 10s next year and one classroom is definitely not going to accommodate them all. The department must honour their promise and deliver mobile classrooms while they wait for their budget to build permanent classrooms,” said Mulaudzi.
The Limpopo Department of Basic Education said that the contract for prefabs had expired mid-2022, but that they were busy finalising the adjudication for new service providers. Schools in need of mobile classes will start receiving prefabs from February 2023. Regarding the building of permanent structures, they said that the school was on their priority list for the next financial year.
Date:17 December 2022
Bernard Chiguvare is a Zimbabwean-born journalist. He writes mainly for the online publication, Groundup.