Limpopo special needs children victims of overcrowding, inexperienced teachers
Special needs children at a Limpopo school are crammed into bedrooms, sleep on mattresses that are too thin and have to use broken furniture.
This is according to parliament's portfolio committee on basic education after a visit to hostel accommodation at the Grace and Hope Special School.
Committee chair Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba said during the tour it was found that though the facility was clean, furniture was broken, the mattresses were thin and too many beds were filling individual rooms.
The school also had a shortage of specialist and hostel staff.
“The committee was also informed that due to a lack of transport, parents at the school purchased a bus to provide scholar transport,” Mbinqo-Gigaba said.
She said the school struggled to find qualified and competent technical teachers. Some teachers with the necessary qualifications did not have enough experience in the workshop.
“This is clearly a gap that needs to be addressed speedily by education authorities.” she added.
The committee also visited Sepheu Moleke Secondary School.
The question of overcrowding came up again, with the committee informed that in the Grade 12 class there were 82 pupils and that the Grade 8 class had 80 pupils.
“This is not fair on our learners. Learning and teaching cannot take place under such overcrowded circumstances. The school must, however, be commended for the pass rate and performance in especially mathematics and physical science, under very difficult circumstances,” said Mbinqo-Gigaba.
The committee has been visiting schools in the province to assess their readiness for the 2020 academic year. It also looked into general schooling at those schools and the latest, lower, National Senior Certificate results.
During the tour the Tom Naudé Technical School was also inspected. Its management was commended for the work it does with learners, despite outdated technical equipment, machinery and apparatus.