A series of break-ins and vandalism at a fenceless Mdantsane high school has severely impacted on pupils’ performance.
The 87 matriculants at Hlokoma High School in NU4 have been robbed of much-needed live-streamed maths, science and accounting lessons from the University of Stellenbosh.
This was after the decoders inside the telematics classroom were stolen by thugs who broke into the school and vandalised the place.
Principal Nomawethu Mdingi said the school had become an easy target for criminals ever since the fence was stolen last year. “If these criminals continue like this, soon there will be no Hlokoma.
“Since the fence was stolen, we have had no control of what happens on this grounds.
“The pupils leave when they want, criminals enter the premises when they feel like it and do or take whatever they want,” said Mdingi.
She said this year alone, the school has had several break-ins where a JoJo tank was stolen, toilets have been plucked from the walls and sport fields have been damaged.
“We have spent more than R30,000 replacing toilets alone. “When schools reopened in July water was gushing from the toilet pipes. In one instance, thugs set fire to a storage cupboard in one of the classrooms,” she said.
The telematics classroom still has two holes in the roof that the thugs made to gain entry, and cables that were once connected to vital equipment were dangling from the ceiling and wall.
“The pass rate has dropped drastically because of the lawlessness at this school. We went from an 80% matric pass rate in 2016 to 66% in 2017. In March this year, before the break-in, 70% of matrics passed. However, after the incident, in the June exams the pass rate dropped to 45%,” said Mdingi.
On July 20, Mdingi called a meeting with parents and the school governing body, where she informed them about the problems facing the school.
On Monday, after several attempts to get the department of education to prioritise the fencing of Hlokoma High, parents marched to the Rubusana district office in Mdantsane to hand over a memorandum of demands.
The parents demanded that the school be renovated and fenced no later than the start of the trial exams in September.
Attempts to get comment from both education spokesmen Loyiso Pulumani and Malibongwe Matima were unsuccessful.