No seat of learning

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Parkside Grade Rs forced to sit on bricks

PARKSIDE Primary School’s Grade R pupils have been using bricks, crates, benches and 20-litre buckets as seats, making learning very difficult.

Each of the four classes consists of about 38 pupils, and each class has one or two of these items as seats for the children.

Despite having asked the education department to assist in this regard, the school has not received any furniture as yet.

Broken chairs and bricks used as seats by Grade R pupils at Parkside Primary School.

“The school cannot use our money to buy furniture because that is used to pay the Grade R teachers. Some of these teachers use their own money to buy resources used in the classrooms.

“The parents have also assisted in donating some of the furniture [in the classes now], but it is not enough,” principal Brian Fritz said.

He added that the budget they received from the department only catered for Grade 1 to 7 and they were pleading with them to extend it to Grade R.

“Grade R has four classes and only one of the four teachers is paid by the government,” Fritz said.

The school is now asking the parents and community of East London to assist where they can because they want to create a conducive environment for their pupils.

Grade R pupils at Parkside Primary School use benches as well. The department of education has not provided furniture for them yet and they (department of education) have asked the school to give them 14 working days to resolve the issue.

Department head Lizelle Abrahams said the school had also bought a couple of chairs and tables but they were not enough, and this was why they were asking for assistance from the public.

“It is really difficult to work like this, but we make do with what we have,” she said.

Eastern Cape education department spokesman Malibongwe Mtima said the department has noted this and would like to request the school to allow 14 working days to resolve the matter as procurement for furniture was at an advance stage.

Last year, the GO! & Express reported how the needy school was having the sparse resources at the facility so badly vandalised that the pupils were sent home (“Pupils sent home: Poorly secured Parkside Primary shuts doors after thieves destroy facilities”).

The article showed how electrical wires were cut, toilets broken, fences destroyed and the principal’s laptop stolen at a school that already struggles to make ends meet.

It was going to cost the school more than R100000 to fix the damage and rewire the school, but some Good Samaritans came on board and helped the school.

A contractor came on a weekend and fixed the school’s plumbing at no cost to the school and a concert was also held to raise funds to fix other problems at the school.

Fritz said that the department came forward not long after the queries last year and fixed all the electrical, ablution and water problems at the school.

Anyone who can assist the school, can contact them on (043)722-4303 or Abrahams on 079-620-4975.

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