MISSING LESSONS: Pupils from Ebenezer Majombozi High School in the nearby park during school hours Picture: MICHAEL PINYANA
As a result, pupils at Ebenezer Majombozi High School in Duncan Village bunk classes easily, with some even frequenting a drinking hole less than 100m from the school.
Because of the poor fencing, the school has also been an easy target for vandals in recent years.
School governing body chairman Harvey Matshononda said the school, once the pride of East London township schools, was being degraded as a result of the lack of security. “We have been approaching the government since 2012 about fencing. The school frequently suffers burglaries which reverse all the efforts made to equip the school with resources,” he said.
Provincial education spokesman Malibongwe Mtima said officials were aware of the fencing problem at the school, and it was on the department’s agenda.
When the Daily Dispatch visited the school last week, two pupils could be seen sleeping in a nearby park. Although the gate was locked, pupils could be seen going in and out of the school as a result of its poor fencing.
The two pupils at the park said they had bunked a maths class because they had not done their homework.
But residents said pupils sleeping in the park was not as worrying as pupils drinking in public during school hours.
Pensioner Funny Mfaku, who lives opposite the school, described pupils’ behaviour as disturbing.
“These children literally leave the school premises and come camp in the park, where they do all sorts of shameful deeds. We must look away as they take over our neighbourhood.
“The fencing issue of this school has really created chaos for us,” he said.
Matshononda said having a tavern so close to the school did not help matters. “We have engaged the previous councillor on the issue of the liquor store, which is also attracting children from other schools. We have held meetings in efforts to at least minimise the exposure of our kids to alcohol,” said Matshononda.
However, Eastern Cape Liquor Board spokesman Mgwebi Msiya said: “The school was notified of the transfer application for a liquor establishment within the 100m radius from the school and no objections were received from Ebenezer Majombozi High School at the time of the consideration of the application.”
However, he said that did not prevent the school from raising complaints with the board if they were of the view that the liquor establishment was trading inconsiderately within the school environment.
Mtima said: “Weurge the community and the school to be patient….We will attend to this [fencing] in due course because the school is one of the schools that will be fenced.”