Learning and teaching continue to take place in an unconducive environment at Durban Deep and Braamfischer Primary Schools

Learners at Durban Deep Primary School in Roodepoort are missing out on being taught in proper and conducive classrooms even though there are plans in place to build a new school.

This is despite promises made by the Gauteng Department of Education that a brick-and-mortar school will be built by March this year.

During an oversight inspection today at the school, the Democratic Alliance (DA) discovered that construction on the new school has not yet commenced as there are still people living on the land that has been earmarked for the new school.

The current school still does not have a proper supply of electricity and currently uses generators.

At Braamfischer Primary School, construction work is underway, but the progress is slow, and the school will not be complete by next year.

The Gauteng Education MEC, Matome Chiloane, made claims earlier this month that this school would be fully occupied in January 2024; unfortunately, this won’t be the case. The project has been experiencing delays that have resulted in moving the completion targets.

There are still structural defects that need to be fixed. No work has been done on the sports field; the kitchen is still in a mobile container because the completed building cannot be occupied.

See photos here, here, here and here.

It is worrying that both of these projects are nowhere near completion. The longer it takes to complete the project, the more money it will cost the department.

In the admin block, not all the toilets are working.

Learning and teaching can only take place properly if there are proper facilities at all our schools. The DA will be tabling follow-up questions regarding both schools to determine exactly when the construction will be completed.

Abandoned Ahanang Primary School infrastructure project affects learning and teaching

Ahanang Primary School learners in Lanesia are exposed to a terrible learning environment, which is affecting the delivery of quality education. This is because of the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) and Department of Infrastructure and Development’s (DID) failure to complete the project of rehabilitating the school infrastructure.

The project to rehabilitate the school infrastructure started in 2015 and the project is abandoned. Kwaga Holdings was contracted to rehabilitate block of classrooms, administration block and sports field.

According to recent replies to the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) to the Gauteng MEC for Education, Matome Chiloane, the department has spent more than R9 million on this project. It will now require the department to spend R14,795 million to complete the project.

Today, the DA conducted an oversight inspection at Ahanang Primary School and found that there is nothing to show for more than R9 million spent so far on revamping the school.

The sporting field has been abandoned, tennis court is incomplete; fischer boards are falling off, and the toilets and windows have not yet been fixed.

Please see the photos here, here, and here.

The DA has established that the principal and SGB members have been fighting causing instability at the school. The DA has learned that the principal is reporting to another school.

The DA demands that the department urgently fill the principal post on permanent basis. We need stability and proper management at the school.

The DA will be tabling follow-up questions in the Provincial Legislature to ascertain how the R9 million was spent. What are the consequences and when the rehabilitation project will resume.

The DA will continue to fight for the rights of Gauteng residents by holding the provincial government to account so that learning and teaching take place in a conducive environment.

End rotational learning at Noordgesig Secondary School to ensure uninterrupted schooling

Noordgesig Secondary School in Soweto has adopted a rotational learning system due to a shortage of classrooms. Following the Department of Labour report, which has declared 13 asbestos classrooms unsafe for learning and teaching.

Learners are now being denied access to quality education and every day learning due to the Gauteng Department of Education’s (GDE) failure to eradicate all asbestos structures in Gauteng.

Today, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education, Khume Ramulifho MPL, and the DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Education, Sergio do Santos MPL, conducted an oversight inspection at Noordgesig Secondary School. We discovered that 13 asbestos classrooms were declared unsafe and were locked.

The department made several commitments to eradicate all asbestos structures in 2016 and 2022 and it never happened.

The DA urges the department to urgently provide mobile classrooms for learners to attend school on a full-time basis. This will be a temporary solution while we wait for a permanent solution to replace all asbestos structures.

We reiterate our call for the department to eradicate all schools built with improper materials, including asbestos. This will ensure that learning and teaching take place in a conducive environment.

Lack of leadership at Altmont Secondary School contributes to safety challenges

The lack of effective leadership at Almont Technical School is severely contributing to the safety challenges of violence, theft, and gangsterism.

In a recent incident, learners stole school furniture and sold it. The school was also disrupted by violent protests earlier this year, severely affecting learning and teaching.

See photos here, here, and here.

Today, the Democratic Alliance (DA) conducted a follow-up oversight inspection at the school to determine whether safety interventions have been implemented to ensure the safety of learners and teachers.

Despite the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) deploying patrollers at this school, ill-discipline remains a challenge.

The DA demands that the Gauteng MEC for Education, Matome Chiloane, urgently intervenes to foster a working relationship between the school management, school governing body (SGB), and district officials.

We will further table questions to the department to determine whether the safety interventions that they have implemented have yielded any positive results.

We strongly believe learning environments should be safe havens for leaners and for teachers.

Therefore, the DA will continue to fight for adequate learning and teaching environments for all learners across the province.

DA to assess construction progress and safety interventions at Simunye Secondary and Altmont Technical High School

Today, Thursday, 21 September 2023, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education, Khume Ramulifho MPL, will conduct oversight inspections at Simunye Secondary School and Altmont Technical High School.

The DA will assess the progress of the construction of the brick-and-mortar structure to replace the dilapidated mobile classrooms at Simunye Secondary School in Bekkersdal.

We will also assess the implementation of the safety intervention strategy at Altmont Technical High School in Protea South following several incidents of violence and gangsterism.

Members of the media are invited, and there will be an opportunity for interviews and photographs.

Details of the oversight are as follows:

Date: 21 September 2023

Oversight inspection one

Time: 10:00
Venue: Simunye Secondary School, Bekkersdal, Westonaria, 1779

Oversight inspection Two

Time: 11:00
Venue: Altmont Technical High School.

Urgent investigation needed into alleged food poisoning at Pulamadibogo Primary School

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng demands that the Department of Education conduct an urgent investigation at the Pulamadibogo Primary School in Block Y, Shoshanguve, after at least 90 learners fell ill due to alleged food poisoning.

It is reported that 10 ambulances took learners for medical treatment following the incident.

The DA has been reliably informed that the learners had allegedly eaten “space cookies” that were sold outside the school premises by a vendor.

This is worrying, as this is not the first time that learners have fallen ill after purchasing food outside the school gate.

Earlier this year, a group of learners fell ill after eating ‘space cookies’ bought from a vendor outside the school premises in Alexandra.

This is now becoming a trend, and it is concerning as schools should be a safe place for teaching and learning.

The DA once again calls on the Gauteng Department of Education to establish an integrated safety approach that includes the School Governing Body (SGB) and the community to avoid such incidents from occurring.

Gauteng schools lack a functional vetting process for vendors to ensure that learners are sold safe, hygienic, and healthy food.

The DA will continue to pressure the department to implement the vetting process for all vendors trading outside the school premises across the province to protect the learners from drugs and food poisoning.

Abandoned Thubelihle Secondary School project affects the delivery of quality education

The delivery of quality education has been compromised at Thubelihle Secondary School in Soweto because the environment is not conducive to learning and teaching due to an incomplete and abandoned infrastructure project.

This school was allocated more than R9 million for the refurbishment of blocks of classrooms, ablution facilities, an administration block, a guard and caretaker house, and the replacement of roof coverings.

Shockingly, the service provider failed to deliver and abandoned the project. This has had a negative impact on quality teaching and learning.

To date, the department has paid more than R4 million but very little to show for it. The Gauteng Department of Infrastructure (DID) has proven once again that it cannot deliver much-needed school infrastructure in the province due to many abandoned school projects.

It is high time that the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) take control of its school infrastructure projects to ensure access to an adequate and conducive environment for all learners across the province.

Furthermore, all service providers who have failed to deliver within budget and on time must be blacklisted from doing business with the government.

This consequence management will prevent department officials from appointing their friends and politicians as service providers and save taxpayers money.

The DA will submit questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) to the department to determine when this project will resume and the stipulated time frame to conclude the refurbishments of this school.

Illegally operating independent schools denying learners access to quality education

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng demands that the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) shut down independent schools operating illegally in the province because they are denying learners of access to quality education and a conducive learning environment.

The DA received complaints about 13 schools allegedly operating illegally in Bloubosrand. We conducted oversight inspections at five schools in the area today and we can confirm that they are operating illegally.

Boipuso Primary School is not registered, there is severe overcrowding in the classrooms and no area for the learners to play.

Takane Academy, Gateway Private School, Aeon Academy and Stepping Stones Academy are not registered. This means that these schools are not following the correct curriculum and environmental health laws.

See photos here, here, here and here.

In addition, all of the schools are operating from a residential home that has not been zoned for business purposes. Furthermore, some of the schools are using documents that appear to be fake and may not have been obtained legally.

The DA demands that GDE urgently intervene to ensure that all independent schools operating in the province do so legally. This will protect the interests of both the learners and the parents.

We will also be submitting questions to determine the number of independent schools in the province and the schools in Bloubosrand that are operating illegally.

It is high time that the department ensures that more schools are built in the province to deal with the influx of people. It is unacceptable that we have a situation where parents desperate for their children to receive an education resort to sending them to schools that are not registered.

The DA is also urging parents to ensure that the independent schools they send their children to are fully compliant and registered with the GDE.

DA urges parents to accept placement offers within seven days to ensure no child misses school in 2024

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng urges parents and guardians to accept their children’s placement offer within seven days to ensure that no child misses a day of schooling in 2024.

 The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) has today begun the process of placement offers for Grades 1 and 8 for the 2024 academic year. The parents will be notified via SMS of placement offers, which they can either accept as final or accept while waiting for their preferred schools.

 Furthermore, we call on the department to communicate efficiently with all parents and guardians who have applied. Based on previous experience, some parents complained of not receiving placement offer SMS from the department, which resulted in learners not being placed on time.

 The DA will monitor the progress of the placement process to ensure that all learners who applied on time are placed. We will also continue to put pressure on the department to ensure that the process is transparent, all parents are treated equally, and there is constant communication between parents and the department on placement issues.

 

DA to assess why Sizuzile Primary School has been shut down

Tomorrow, Thursday, 23 March 2023, the Democratic Alliance Shadow MEC for Education, Khume Ramulifho MPL, will conduct an oversight inspection at Sizuzile Primary School in Tsakane, Ekurhuleni.

The DA has been reliably informed that the school has been shut down nearly a month ago. The two grade R classrooms were burnt down to ashes. It is alleged that angry parents have been protesting outside the school preventing teaching and learning from taking place. Learners have lost much of their valuable schooling time because of the ongoing protest.

Members of the media are invited and there will be an opportunity for interviews and photographs.

The details of the oversight inspection are as follows:

Date: Thursday 23 March 2023

Time: 10:00 am

Venue: Sizuzile Primary School

Address: 31450 9th Avenue, Tsakane, Ekurhuleni.