Irate parents shut-down Woodlands School

Students wait for their school to be opened as parents stage a lockdown of the school



Parents took to the streets to voice their frustration at the lack of service delivery since the Department of Education allocated R45 million to the school for much needed renovations to infrastructure.

Ward councillor and school governing body member, Shaun Adkhins, said that the department promised a site handover on July 5 which was then delayed to August and then delayed further with no action taken to date.

“They [Department of Education] have not responded to our queries since August and parents are visibly frustrated at being left in the dark,” said Adkhins.

The school was built in 1975 as a temporary learning structure.

Leroy Snyman, a former learner at Woodlands Primary, took the Public Eye on a tour of the school, exposing the school’s problem areas.

Dilapidated buildings were on full display with many holes patched up or left bare in classrooms.

“When I was a learner here, this hole in the wall was created and has still not been attended to,” said Snyman as he pointed at the wall.

The toilet walls separating the younger boys from the older boys have also been broken down and live sewer pipes are covered with bricks resulting in an unpleasant odor.

Teachers who wished to remain anonymous vented their frustration at having to work in these conditions which are detrimental to their health.

In addition, the school is still operating under asbestos roofing which many parents have attributed to the health problems that their children now experience.

“My two children have asthma and we blame the school for this as our family does not suffer with asthma,” said Mr. Beyers.

“My medical aid bills are through the roof. I was in hospital for a week and have to go back because I suffer from breathing issues after working under asbestos roofing for a decade,” said one teacher.

Another teacher added that she goes home with rashes and itchy skin daily as the school is infested with blood-sucking insects.

Parents said that they would not stand back and allow their children to be taught in these hostile conditions.

“We are going to strike again tomorrow and go to the department’s offices so we can be heard. Come January, this school will not be opening until they fix it,” said Kerwin Whiteman.

ANC ward councillor said that she had received many complaints from parents stating that they were not informed about the strike and expressed their anger at parents for staging the protest and putting their children in danger as they were made to wait outside the school.

When teachers and children were finally let in at 8.50am after being forced to stand outside in the heat all morning, it was announced that the school had no water.

The Department of Education could not be reached for comment.

Byrone Athman

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