The KZN Legislature embarked on the school functionality monitoring and follow-up on the issues that were previously raised by teachers and governing body concerning teaching and learning in schools that were visited early this year.
The Legislature and its significant impact have been realized in many schools visited in the past. Some of the positive effects of the programme led to improvements in schools’ infrastructure, performance, management and governance, human relations, discipline, and stakeholders’ involvement, to mention but a few.
On Sep 6, they visited two schools in Alfred Duma Municipality; I.e, Harvest High and Colenso Combined Schools and also two i Okhahlamba municipality; i.e, Tholithemba Secondary and Okhombe Primary Schools, as part of a school functionality monitoring programme. Members, led by Honourable Thulani Xulu, uThukela District Deputy Mayor Cllr MH Shange, Department of Education and other critical stakeholders were part of the programme.
The aim of the programme is to track progress on the implementation of January 2022 resolutions. The focus was on the effective teaching and learning process, availability of key resources and staffing and infrastructure formed part of the agenda.
The first stop was at Harvest HS, where the Principal, Mr Hagan Nash, previously reported that there were learners that dropped out of school in the past year because their parents could no longer afford school fees due to job losses impacted by COVID-19. The school subsidizes only 17% of the school fees.
In the next financial year, the school will consider increasing this percentage to cater for learners that can no longer afford school fees due to unforeseen circumstances.
Mr Nash emphasized the involvement of parents in the school to actively participate in the school governance structure. He went on to say that the school provides a caring and disciplined environment where students feel safe to learn, where they can grow, develop and discover their potential through hard work.
Deputy Mayor Cllr Shange was impressed with the achievements of the school and also appreciated the visit of the Legislature to ensure that the challenges that hinder schooling are identified and resolved. The next stop was at Colenso Combined School, where the school was faced with a plethora of challenges that needed decisive government intervention.
The school principal Mr ML Magubane requested the review of the school as its capacity is bigger than the structure. The structure itself is old; and there are no playing grounds, and the fencing is falling down.
- -This school’s ablution facilities are in a poor state due to the ageing plumbing system and excessive usage of these toilets as the enrolment rate has increased over the years.
- -Invasion of the school by dangerous water creatures, including crocodiles and snakes from the Uthukela River, cause a serious threat to the safety of learners and staff. Overcrowded classrooms.
- -A letter has been written to the Head Office requesting the installation of chemical toilets, and the school has been put on the water and sanitation programme list.
- -The Department to prioritize the school for a high concrete fence to prevent this intrusion. There is not enough space to put the mobile classroom in the school yard; the School Management Team, with the assistance of the Circuit Office, to develop a plan to address the overcrowded classrooms.