ACCORDING to the Department of Basic Education’s 2011 report on 2008 and 2009 annual surveys for ordinary schools, the majority of large classes were found in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal because schools have to accommodate more than the acceptable number of 40 per class.
Classroom shortages appear to be a contributing factor.
For Pellsrus Primary school in Jeffreys Bay it is an all too familiar sight. However, the school decided to take matters into their own hands by converting their once toilet facilities/ablution blocks into fully refurbished classrooms to address this issue.
The principal at Pellsrus Primary, Ronald Plaatjies, explained that the root cause (classroom shortage and overcrowded classrooms) is ever-growing influx of people into Jeffreys Bay.
He said this places immense pressure on the infrastructure. As a result, schools simply do not have the capacity to accommodate pupils. Plaatjies said they had been experiencing this problem over the past 10 years.
“This year we have 1480 pupils and the school is bursting at the seams,” Plaatjies said.
Consequently the school’s development committee decided to start with a project that would involve converting the old school’s toilets into functional classrooms.
“With the help of local businesses we worked on transforming two toiletfacilities/ ablution blocks into classrooms.”
Today the school boasts with two fully-refurbished classrooms which show no evidence that they were once toilets.
The school also built new toilet facilities to replace the old ones.
Through their initiative the school also renovated a storage room into a classroom and made use of a container for counselling, remedial and special classes
Meanwhile the Eastern Cape department of education has built about seven classrooms to help further relieve the classroom shortage.