The Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA) has given the Department of Education 14 days to fix derelict schools in Limpopo, failing which it will approach the Human Rights Commission.
In a statement on Wednesday, 18 March 2020, the Public Servants association of South Africa noted, with shock, the dilapidated state of two schools in Limpopo. The association said that Mahumani Secondary School in the Mopani East District, as well as Sehlagane Primary School in the Capricorn District, were putting the health and safety of learners and staff under severe threat. “Both schools’ toilet blocks are dilapidated, and the 694 and 530 learners respectively do not have access to a single working toilet,” the statement read.
The association noted that these schools were not in compliance with the National Norms and Standards relating to Environmental Health, which dictates that “one toilet and one hand wash basin must be provided for every twelve staff members on the premises (1:12) and that separate toilet and wash-up facilities must be provided for male and female staff members.” Mahumani Secondary School subjects 24 employees to one toilet, while Sehlagane Primary School has two dysfunctional toilets for 18 staff members.
Beyond the toilets, some of the schools’ classroom roofs were blown away by storms in 2018 and 2019, which the Department of Education has failed to repair. The schools have very little furniture, no library, and no facilities to prepare food for learners. This has resulted in the matric pass rate of Mahumani Secondary School being 32 percent in 2018 and 38 percent in 2019.
The PSA has issued a letter to the Department of Education, giving it 14 days to intervene in the matter, failing which the association will approach the Human Rights Commission for further intervention.