A lack of text books, insufficient teachers and not enough classrooms ensured that the crisis at the Jeffreys Bay High School continued.
A similar set of problems existed at the beginning of 2016, which at the time were denied by the then Mayor of Kouga Daphne Ketteldas in conjunction with a print media news publication.
However, despite promises made by the Department of Education, the opening of the 2017 school year saw the Grade 8’s having to sit in the school hall as there are not enough classrooms and apparently parents are monitoring these students as there are not enough teachers at the school.
There are still no computers in the computer room and no books in the library.
The Jeffreys Bay High School was opened in 2015 with 472 learners, mainly from poor families. Last year the number rose to 702 learners, taught by 19 teachers, according to acting principal Eric Jonklaas.
This year the number has swelled to 972. The grade 11 class, which opened this year, has close to 100 learners.
Jonklaas said the school had “hundreds of learners from the surrounding areas” on the waiting list.
“So far we have accepted 270 new learners.The school is supposed to have 24 teachers, according to last year’s recommendation by the Department of Education.
Although we applied for additional teachers to fill the gap, these teachers will only be available at the end of the first term because appointing a teacher normally takes two to three months.”
Kouga Municipality Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen slammed the Department of Education for failing to solve problems at the school. “Jeffreys Bay High School has been experiencing serious problems from the beginning of the school year in 2016.
Among these are lack of teachers, lack of textbooks and even a lack of financing that resulted in there being no toilet paper to welcome learners and teachers at the beginning of the 2016 school year.
Despite our engagement with the Department of Education and promises that extra classrooms would be built, textbooks would be delivered and funding would be provided to pay the administration staff, nothing has happened.”
“The school will run out of classroom space this year and there aren’t enough teachers to cater for all the current learners.
We will once again engage the Department of Education — who unsurprisingly are not visiting the Jeffreys Bay High School on their oversight visit to Kouga — as we will not accept learners being left behind in any of our schools in Kouga.”