Children without text books, others on waiting lists and unable to continue with their education, and a school without a management structure is the harsh reality facing parents and students at the newly built Jeffreys Bay High School.
The 2016 school year started at the Jeffreys Bay High School, which serves the Ocean View, Tokyo Sexwale and Pellsrus communities, with students facing a bleak year, unless the Department of Education solves the serious problems facing the school.
“I was shocked to discover that there was no printing paper for the administrative staff and not even a roll of toilet paper for over 700 students who have been enrolled in the High School, said the DA leader in Kouga, Elza Van Lingen.
“Our Councillor for Ward 14, Brenton Williams uncovered just how serious the problems are, when he did school readiness visits last week to ensure the kids were in classrooms and that the teachers were adequately equipped to do their jobs.
Instead he found that the entire management structure of the Jeffreys Bay High School is non-existent, with the Principal on special leave, no deputy Principal and no Heads of Departments,” added Van Lingen.
There are only 15 teachers at the High School with well over 700 students enrolled for 2016. Another 150 children are on a waiting list, while approximately 50 students were not even given the false hope of being put on the waiting list.
No budget has been received from the Department of Education for the administration of the school and even items like printing paper is being funded by the teachers themselves.
“In fact the only area of functionality is the nutrition programme and the learners are at least being fed – but are certainly not receiving the education they deserve.
The investigation also uncovered that there are no plans to build Phase Two of the school – which was supposed to have begun in 2015 – during this financial year, nor the next.
This lack of planning will see the school run out of space once it expands next year to cater for Grade 11,” said Van Lingen.
Despite having a computer room and a library, there is not a single computer (as seen in above photo) or library book at the school.
The School was also supposed to offer technical classes, but no workshops have been built.
No text books have been received for the Grade 10 students, while there are only Afrikaans textbooks for the Grade 8 and Grade 9’s.
The School is supposed to offer education in both English and Afrikaans, but just how the teachers are supposed to do this, is beyond comprehension.
The DA has reported its findings to the Department of Education and will meet with the Education Portfolio Committee from Bhisho, who will be visiting Jeffreys Bay today (Wednesday).
“We are determined that no child will get left behind with their education in Jeffreys Bay. We will fight for our children’s right to an education in Kouga, said Van Lingen.