Several parents whose children attend Pescodia Primary School in Roodepan have complained about the state of the toilet facilities at the school.
SEVERAL parents whose children attend Pescodia Primary School in Roodepan have complained about the state of the toilet facilities at the school, saying toilets and the doors are in a shocking condition, and have now said that enough is enough and something needs to be done.
According to these parents, they have written several letters of complaint to the school, the department and the district director, but they have not received any feedback.
“I have personally written several letters to various people, but not one of them has even responded to my letters, so that says a lot,” one parent stated.
The parents have noted that since 2004, the same toilets and doors have been used and have never been replaced, and the cleaners at the department as well as the EPWP workers on site are not doing their jobs.
“I remember when I was at the school in 2004, we used the same toilets, and the doors were exactly the same. In 18 years, nothing has changed, nothing has been upgraded.
“The water is leaking from the toilet pipes onto the floor, and there are no toilet brushes for the learners to use to clean the inside of the toilet, leaving a mess for everyone to see,” another parent told the DFA.
“As a concerned parent, I wrote a letter to the principal stating that I have a business, and that I am willing to assist the school because I have a child at the school, but I have not received any feedback from him or the school. It feels to me like this is not a priority to them.”
The concerned parents are also complaining that the school erected carports, security cameras and a motor gate to protect staff members’ vehicles, but on the side where the learners are dropped off and collected there are no security features.
“What are they doing with their budget? Is the safety of our children, not a priority?
“What do we have to do to get a response from the school or the department? Do we have to close down the school until someone starts to listen,” another parent asked.
One community member noted in a Facebook post that he is a government official and a trained and registered occupational health and safety practitioner. According to him, this is a gross transgression of facility regulations and basic infection control.
He stated that toilets in such a condition can cause illnesses like streptococcus, staphylococcus, shigella bacteria, hepatitis virus, common cold virus and various sexually transmitted organisms. To prevent this from happening, toilets need to be cleaned regularly.
Department of Education spokesman Geoffrey van der Merwe, stated that each school receives an allocation annually for basic maintenance.
“It is therefore the responsibility of the school to prioritise maintenance projects or minor repairs that may affect the safety and health of learners and educators,” Van der Merwe said. “The management of the school also has the responsibility to oversee the work of non-teaching staff to fulfil the work they are allocated to do, even though they are paid by the department,” he added.
“In this case, our district office visited the school this morning (Thursday) and we can confirm that the ablution facilities are neat and in perfect working order. However, the doors of the toilets are damaged due to vandalism by Grade 7 learners.”
He further stated that the school has met with parents and learners on two occasions to address this matter.
“The cleaners of this school work according to a schedule to clean the ablution facilities at least five times per day. The allegations levelled against this school are completely misrepresented and misguided.
“We further appeal to parents of Pescodia Primary School to first establish the correct facts and engage the school principal before spreading incorrect information,” Van der Merwe said.