She said she had written to the Eastern Cape department of education several times since being appointed principal in 2014, asking for help. “Our school budget is too small to build new toilets,” she said.
She had even sent photographs of the toilets to the department.
Grade R teacher Ntomboyise Mbutye, who has been working in this school since 2003, said every time pupils needed to relieve themselves she had to stop teaching to accompany them to the field. She said this was slowing down her teaching.
Education department spokesperson Malibongwe Mtima said the school was too small for the department to invest in.
Primary schools had to have a minimum of 135 pupils and secondary schools 200 pupils, failing which the school should merge with another or close.
He said when numbers of pupils in a school started dwindling, the department would come to advise the school on merging with a nearby school or closing completely.
He said the government could no longer invest in Mangelengele Primary and, instead, a process of rationalisation and realignment should take place. In the meantime, he said, the school should use its maintenance budget to hire toilets.
This article was first published by GroundUp.