The Groutville school of holes

One of the pupils shows that his feet can go into the hole next to his desk.

Overcrowded classrooms are an everyday problem for teachers at Aldinville Primary in Groutville, but leaking roofs and holes in the floor have pushed the school to its limits.

One of the classrooms has been closed because a large hole in the roof and cracked roof beams have made it dangerous to use.

Holes in the floor are covered with old chalkboards to stop children falling through and injuring themselves.

School principal Thulani Khumalo said ten of the 16 classrooms need renovation, which the school cannot afford. Each classroom is supposed to accommodate 35 to 40 pupils, however some are cramming in up to 90 children.

This class has been closed due to the roof that can collapse at anytime.

“We do get money from the education department, however it is not enough to pay for renovations.”

Khumalo said when it rained they had to disconnect all computers and put them in a dry place – bringing lessons to a halt.

Teachers cannot put up charts on the walls because they are afraid they will be damaged when it rains.

Most of the classrooms were damaged by a storm several years ago but the department has done nothing to fix them.

One of the classroom that is overcrowded, as there are about 80 pupils.

The school has an enrolment of more than 1000 pupils and there are only 14 toilets, seven for boys and seven for girls. Teachers feel more toilets are needed.

“Even the five classrooms that were renovated were done by a private company. In fact most of the help that we have been getting comes from private companies, including the computers we have.”

The education department had not responded to questions by the time of going to print.

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Sboniso Dlamini

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