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Outcry over worm-infested school toilets

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Pupils and teachers at CW Kies Primary School in Bonita Park, Hartswater, are forced to relieve themselves in the veld as the school toilets are infested with worms.

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PUPILS and teachers at CW Kies Primary School in Bonita Park, Hartswater, are forced to relieve themselves in the veld as the school toilets are infested with worms.

A parent stated that the toilets were not able to flush since last year.

“The toilets are blocked and smelly. There are only ablution facilities for boys and girls and educators have to make use of the same bathrooms. It is not safe, especially for young girls to go to the veld,” said the concerned parent.

“The school is not very well maintained and it is overgrown with long weeds and bushes.”

Northern Cape Department of Education spokesperson Geoffrey van der Merwe indicated this week that the ablution facilities at the school were in working order.

“However, these facilities are not regularly cleaned and may pose a health risk to learners,” said Van der Merwe.

“The challenges at CW Kies Primary School are not infrastructure-related, but more related to the cleaning of the school. The school has sufficient toilets, in line with the minimum norms and standards.”

He added that a parents’ meeting was held on February 27 and parents raised concerns over the unhygienic toilets used by the pupils and teachers.

“They also stated that pupils had to sweep the classrooms on a daily basis after school and that the school premises were not cleaned and maintained.”

Van der Merwe said the district office had been instructed to formally engage the school with regard to the status of employment of the general workers, to resolve all matters relating to cleanliness and hygiene and to create a conducive environment for learning and teaching.

“The department is concerned about the situation that prevails at CW Kies Primary. While the department appointed two general workers for the school, we were informed that they are not fulfilling their daily responsibilities.”

Van der Merwe added that the department had done considerable work at the school, including installing a new ablution block in November 2017 and a Grade R classroom that was completed in 2011.

“The school received major maintenance and repairs that were completed in March 2018. The school has a functional borehole and does not require an additional one.”

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