Parents of pupils at Pauw Gedenk Primary School in Wellington are fuming because their children are being taught under trees or on the playground because construction is under way at the school.
Construction at the 90-year-old school, which began in the second term, has made classrooms unfit for lessons, according to the parents. The school has about 500 pupils in grades zero to 3.
The parents plan to picket outside the school’s gates tomorrow to demand that the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) resolve the issue.
The parents threatened the department’s area manager, in a letter saying since the school was now a danger to all, no teaching was to be given until the eight identified classrooms are fully restored.They acknowledged that is a disruption to the children’s education. However, should any educator or pupil succumb to any injury or negative effects from construction, they would hold the department accountable.
Acting school principal Natasha Coriazin said work on the school’s floors was unfinished, leaving the school with little option but to give instruction outdoors for the safety of the children.
SGB chairperson Sonja Paulse said they had been informed of parents’ frustration and as a parent with a child at the school, had gone to see for herself and saw children being taught under the trees or on the playground.
Paulse said she found it completely unacceptable and they had demanded that the school ask the WCED to provide alternatives for the sake of the children.
WCED spokesperson Millicent Merton said the brickwork of the building had been disintegrating in places and the first-floor timber supports had appeared problematic. Merton said in September, temporary support works were completed with the introduction of an additional bearer beam supported by temporary props.
Due to the age of the building, it had been necessary to gain Heritage Western Cape’s approval for construction, and the department had engaged the Department of Transport and Public Works Education Infrastructure to inform the school and district of progress made in construction and when the remedial work would be completed, she said.
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