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Parents at Eastern Cape school call for government’s intervention to improve infrastructure

Parents of learners at Lindobuhle Junior Secondary School at Qandu village in Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape want government’s intervention to improve their school.

The school was burnt to the ground in 2004. They were provided with shipping containers that have since been blown away by strong winds.

Lindobuhle school was built by community members in 1984. It had mud rondavels with thatched roofs. Twenty years later, the rondavels were burnt to the ground. Residents say private companies donated shipping containers as temporary measure to their situation. However, the containers have also been blown away by winds.

The School Governing Body Chairperson, Sibusiso Simayile, says learners have been using the shipping containers with uncovered roofs ever since.

“This school was built in 1984 but its condition has not improved. Then in 2004 the rondavels that were built by our grandparents burnt to the ground. We were given the prefabs that have been blown away by winds, as you can see. In 2015 the prefabs were blown away again by winds. Till today nothing has been done. No one has comes to tell us when the school will be re-built. Our children learn under unsafe conditions. In 1996 they had promised that our school is on the list of schools to be built. But we don’t know where that list is. They kept promising us,” says Simayile.

The provincial Department of Education concedes that there is indeed infrastructural problem at the school.

However, Spokesperson Ceduma Mboxela says they are still verifying whether the school will be rationalised or not.

“That school is one of the schools that are in a process of being defined whether the school falls under rationalization or the school will be rebuilt. But what we also know is that there are prefab classrooms that were installed in the school which some were delivered in 2008 and some were delivered in 2018 under different projects,” says Mboxela.

However, parents say rationalisation of the school is not an option. They want it re-built as they are concerned about the safety of their children.

“The residents will never allow the school to be closed because the main reason we built this school here was because other schools are too far and it’s not safe for our children to walk. If we close this school that will mean or children will be walking through thick bushes. That would be very dangerous,” says a parent.

“We used the rondavels we built here as our voting station in 1994. They were burnt down many years ago but even now nothing has been done. Even my children who were learners here have children of their own. But the school is still the same. What have we done wrong to the government?,” says another parent.

The Department of Education’s district office says it will be looking at providing temporary shelters to ensure learners learn under conducive environment.

Qandu community demands proper houses and roads in the Eastern Cape:

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