Mpumalanga pupils told to bring own chairs to school

Beatrice Shongwe, News24 correspondent

Mbombela - Grade 7 pupils at a Mpumalanga primary school have been told to bring their own chairs because of a shortage of furniture.

Enzani Primary School in Matsulu, near Mbombela, took in an additional 120 children this year.

"We have a problem with the Grade 7 class that currently has too [few] chairs and desks for all the learners," said principal Nohlanhla Mabuza.

"Learners have been urged to bring their own chairs from home. We held a meeting with the parents to explain our situation."

Mabuza said the increase in pupil numbers meant chairs had to be moved from the Grade 7 class to other grades to accommodate pupils across the board.

Last year, the school had 980 learners. This has now gone up to 1 100.

"We were promised extra chairs from other schools... but, unfortunately, we were too late collecting the chairs and they were already given to another school," said Mabuza.

During the first few days of the 2016 school year, some pupils had to sit on the floor during class and later they started bringing their own chairs to school.

Despite the challenge, Mabuza said classes were going ahead.

The school was currently short of 32 chairs and 25 tables.

A parent of a Grade 7 learner, Nompumelelo Vilakazi, said she was very concerned about the lack of furniture.

"I am worried that my child has to sit on the cold, hard floor because there is a shortage of chairs at the school. The headmaster and the school governing body should have seen to it that there are enough chairs and desks for all the children that enrolled.

"Now we are told that we should send chairs to school for our children to sit on," said Vilakazi.

Provincial education spokesperson Jasper Zwane said the department was not aware of the situation. "We will make a report on the school and investigate."