Overcrowded Arries to finally get facilities

NO WAY TO TEACH CHILDREN: The Grade R class at Alfonso Arries Primary School, where 176 pupils are crammed into one classroom with two teachers Picture: FREDLIN ADRIAAN -
NO WAY TO TEACH CHILDREN: The Grade R class at Alfonso Arries Primary School, where 176 pupils are crammed into one classroom with two teachers Picture: FREDLIN ADRIAAN –

Work starts on new classrooms at primary school following legal action

THE Eastern Cape Department of Education has started excavation work at a school in Port Elizabeth’s northern areas to provide more classrooms, toilets and teachers to address extreme overcrowding.

This comes after a committee of concerned teachers at Alfonso Arries Primary School in Chatty Extension 12 filed an urgent application at the Grahamstown High Court last month to compel the minister of education to provide 21 temporary classrooms and age-appropriate desks for 880 pupils.

For the past two years, the school has become so overcrowded that teaching has come to a virtual standstill due to a pupil-teacher ratio of 100 to 1 in many classrooms.

There are more than 1 775 pupils using 22 prefabricated classrooms which were designed to accommodate only 880. There are 176 Grade R pupils in one classroom, taught be two teachers.

The Grade 3 and Grade 4 classrooms have more than 100 pupils each and the school requires 22 additional classrooms to bring the average pupils-to-classroom ratio to the prescribed 40 pupils.

The school is represented by Legal Resources Centre attorney Cameron McConnachie, who said the matter was unprecedented as it was the first case to his knowledge in which teachers had taken action.

-Lee-Anne Butler

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