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Parents, Teachers Petition Artesia JSS' Reopening

TSAONE BASIMANEBOTLHE
Concerned parents and teachers at Artesia Junior Secondary School (JSS) will hand over a petition to the school head today after they expressed worry over the premises that they deem as not conducive for learners upon reopening.

Schools are expected to open tomorrow (Tuesday) for Standard Seven, Form Three and Form Five to resume lessons.

The concerned parties met and outlined their concerns over the unfavourable conditions at the school such as poor sewarage, incomplete maintenance works of classrooms and hostels.

“The issue of classrooms should be addressed first before we consider teaching students. We have long asked the directors and chief education officer to address this issue,” one of the concerned teachers said.

“Our classes have more than 30 to 40 students.

Again the leadership and teachers do not have a good relationship when it comes to issues that affect our welfare as teachers and that of students and their performance. Some of these issues have long dragged on for years without being addressed.”

Another teacher said they have asked the chief education officer to be present today so that they can hand in the petition stipulating that they will not attend classes if the ministry does not tell them of action to be taken outside of reopening.

Area councillor for Artesia/Leshibitse, Tshepo Ruele said Artesia JSS’ performance has declined because of the sour relationship between teachers and the school’s leadership.

“The teachers are complaining that the sour

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relationship between the school leadership and teachers is negatively affecting performance and that is why the school is behind in adherence to the COVID-19 standards required by Ministry of Health and Wellness. Some teachers have received warning letters for complaining on how things are being done at the school,” Ruele said.

“As parents and also the leader of this village, we cannot allow children to be taught under these circumstances. Installation of hand washbasins, maintenance of classrooms and hostels are not yet over.

This is a boarding school and students who are admitted are from distant villages such as Martins Drift.

Only nine rooms from boys hostels are complete and each room will be accommodating four students.

At first each room was accommodating 10 students therefore some boarding students will not have accommodation.”

 He added council officers will inspect the school today (Monday) and they will decide if the school should open at all.

Chief education officer, Lesego Masitara said she could not comment on the matter as she was supposed to first get permission from her superiors.

The Ministry of Basic Education spokesperson, Oarabile Phefo could not comment on the matter either as he was on sick leave.



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