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Tell the MEC of Education in the Eastern Cape to install toilets in Mangelengele Primary School

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Tell the MEC of Education in the Eastern Cape to install toilets in Mangelengele Primary School
Tell the MEC of Education in the Eastern Cape to install toilets in Mangelengele Primary School
7 signatures

Teachers in Mangengele Primary are sending grade R learners to use the field and avoid the pit toilets because they're full and no longer safe. To make things worse the EC Department of Education is not willing to install toilets. The Education MEC’s spokesperson claims that the school has too few learners and they won't invest in it, they would rather merge the school with another. The school was built in 1960 has only 70 learners [1].

With full pit toilets, this is a disaster waiting to happen. Last year this year a- five-year-old girl Luna Mkwena died at another Eastern Cape school, Bizana Primary. These tragedies are avoidable if we come together in numbers and hold the department to account to build and fix school infrastructure. The Minister of Basic Education Motshekga said that there are 5,225 maintenance projects underway in the country but Eastern Cape has exhausted its budget [2]. Earlier this year the Eastern Cape Legislature saved R4,3million by using their Chamber for the state of the province address. Equal Education has called on the province to allocate these funds to fix schools with no latrines [3].

If we allow the MEC to avoid his responsibility to install proper toilets in Mangelengele Primary School, and the school is closed and learners sent to another school how do we know that the other school has proper toilets and will the department guarantee consistent free transport? The community is fighting to save their school. It's easy to ignore one community, but if we come together and stand in solidarity, we may be able to get the attention of the MEC and force them to act.

Dear MEC Mr Fundile Gade

Poor sanitation at schools hurts the learners and it puts them in danger and at risk of getting sick. Mangelengele Primary is just one of many schools that needs proper toilets. Your department's response to the community is disappointing. A child's dignity should not depend on the size of their school. This process of realignment and rationalisation is just a way to avoid responsibility. If you don't act immediately more children risk dying in the pit latrines.                                                                                                                               

By the end of the 4th term, we demand that safe toilets are installed at Mangelengele Primary. The toilets must be built appropriately, sustainable and can be flushed.

 

[1] Grade R learners told to avoid the school toilets and use the field. Yamkela Ntshongwana for GroundUp. 15 August 2019.

[2]Another Child dies in a pit Latrine. Athandiiwe Saba, Ra’eesa pather, Bongekile Macupe for Mail&Guadian. 16 March 2018. 

[3] EQUAL Education Pickets outside Eastern Cape State Of the Province Address. Nombulelo Damba-Hendrick for Ground Up. 28 June 2019

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Grade R learners are being forced to use their school field as a toilet. Instead of building proper toilets, the department wants to shut the school down, but the community is fighting to save their school. Let us stand together in solidarity and demand the Department of Education in the Eastern Cape to install toilets in Mangelengele Primary.