School’s dilapidated roof poses danger for pupils

SAAIPLAAS- Parents of learners at Embokodweni Primary School in Saaiplaas Village outside Groblersdal within the Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality have raised concerns over the dilapidated state of the primary school’s roof.

The concerned parents indicated that bad state of the roof at the school posed a serious danger to the pupils.

According to the parents part of the school’s ceiling fell previously, injuring one of the pupils during examinations.

They worried that several of their attempts to engage both the Limpopo Department of Education and the district education department in the past bore no fruits as the school’s roof remains unattended.

The school in the rural Saaiplaas Village currently accommodates just over 600 pupils from Grades R to 9.

Zondiwe Mahlangu, a community leader and former School Governing Body (SGB) member at the school, said the school’s roof remained in precarious and dangerous state for the young learners since he vacated his position in the body about nine years ago.

Mahlangu said they approached both the district education and the provincial departments for help on the crisis but nothing had been forthcoming after those attempts.

“We went to the district department of education’s offices and presented our concerns there years back but we could not get any help. Instead we were told to use the school’s budget to repair the roof. The same we were told when we approached the Limpopo Department of Education. The problem is that we cannot use the school’s budget on such repairs as it is the matter for the department. The school’s budget is used for learning and teaching at the school, not repairs on the building. We refuted their advice,” said Mahlangu.

The community leader called on the Limpopo Department of Education to expedite the repair of the school’s roof as it continues to be a ticking time bomb.

“The department should prioritise the urgent matter and ensure that the roofing at the school is repaired before the rainy season. We are scared that the worst might happen if the roof falls on pupils during teaching and learning. We need help,” said Mahlangu.

The paper sent a query on the matter to the Limpopo Department of Education to find out if it was aware of the matter and what it was doing about it on Tuesday, 11 May 2021.

Tidimalo Chuene, Limpopo Department of Education spokesperson, acknowledged receipt of the paper’s query and promised to respond as soon as she got feedback from the relevant district Director.

On Tuesday evening, 11 May 2021, the department had not responded to the paper’s query. The department’s response will be communicated soon as it is received.

Thapelo Motseo

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