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Thirsty Kgatleng schools panic over coronavirus

INNOCENT SELATLHWA
Matebeleng Primary School PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
The announcement that all learning institutions will be closed in an effort to fight the coronavirus has brought a sigh of relief to many schools in Kgatleng District and the country at large.

Primary schools in Kgatleng, just close to the capital city Gaborone, are in a harrowing state thereby impeding learning.

Kgosi Bethuel Ndaba of Matebele in Kgatleng told this publication that the community was scared that if the schools did not close, they would be at high risk of contacting the virus at Matebele Primary School.

“As you can see that truck bowsing water at the school, the taps both at the school and the village have been dry. That is despite the fact that health workers encourage us to wash our hands and keep our surroundings clean. We will be doomed if the virus finds its way this side,” he said, adding that the toilet situation at the school posed high risk.

“Our students use dilapidated pit latrines that pose a health risk to them and their teachers. Pre-primary school teachers are obliged to help the students when the use the toilets. The facilities are dangerous and the little pupils risk falling into the open pits,” he said.

He also said the situation at the school was bad as they are short of six classrooms, forcing students to be taught under trees. He explained that the set up was so bad that the Kgotla lent student chairs in the morning and got them back in the afternoon to be used at the Kgotla.

He said they were lucky to have had Bela Bela Quarries

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build a classroom block for students. As the village leadership, they pleaded with companies and individuals to assist.

Meanwhile, parents also expressed concern over the state of the schools. Modipane Primary School parents have little hope for their children to do well in school.

“This school is a problem. We are just praying that the government will see the need to help us. I did my Standard 1 in this school in 1986 and the students are still using the same pit latrines. They are an accident waiting to happen,” a parent said.

Another parent said they spent a lot of money trying to support students because the school does not have resources such as books and a photocopying machine.

“It is really a problem because we are struggling to buy all these. But the results are not forthcoming. The school is not conducive for learning as there is also shortage of classrooms leading to overcrowding and ultimately poor results.

The use of dilapidated pit latrines is widespread in schools in the Kgatleng district as evidenced by those in Bokaa and Oodi that this publication visited  and was clear that the problems still recur.

For an example, Oodi Primary School Parents and Teachers’ Association at some point late last year mulled closing the school over filthy toilets. Kgatleng District Council did not respond to questions about dire situations in schools in the region.



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