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Thursday, January 20, 2022

New Mfuleni primary school site identified for pupils with no classes

Okuhle Hlati 

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) and the City have identified a site for a new primary school to house hundreds of Mfuleni children who are still stuck with no classes.

The children were among thousands of pupils ranging from grades R to 11 cramped into halls, old clinic buildings and churches in the area since the start of the academic year.

Parents say the Tsitsa Primary School hall accommodates foundation phase, with close to 1000 pupils.

The school also helps feed the children.

The church accommodates a Grade 9 class, the clinic building has the Grade 8s and the community hall takes the Grade 10 class.

Community leader and parent Sipho Delana said WCED officials were meeting with the forum to discuss proposals, and hopefully the pupils would be placed by Monday next week.

“There hasn’t been improvement yet. The only new thing is that parents will be meeting with the department officials as caretaker principals will be introduced. We will also be updated on when the pupils can start attending classes as they are left behind academically,” Delana said.

WCED spokesperson Jessica Shelver said, meanwhile, the pupils would platoon with a nearby primary school until a new school was built on the Fairdale site.

“The WCED has planned to build a new primary school on a nearby vacant piece of land, and the City has indicated that they would expedite the application to ensure that pupils have access to the new mobile school as soon as possible.

“We also proposed that the high school pupils will also platoon at this stage until the interim SGB decides on a way forward.

“A 16-classroom school in the Silver Sands area which will accommodate the high school pupils seeking placement is almost complete. The project is 75% complete and has already cost the department over R10million,” Shelver said.

The Department identified Mfuleni, 40km outside Cape Town, as one of the worst areas for overcrowding.

Meanwhile, a new mobile school in Ocean View is expected to relieve some of the pressure at Ukhanyo Primary School in Masiphumelele.

Ukhanyo currently caters for close to 2000 pupils, with 47 teachers. The pupils are mostly from Masiphumelele, with the rest coming from Red Hill, Simon’s Town, Westlake and Capricorn.

It is the only primary school in these areas that offers Xhosa as a first language.

Cape Times

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