Heartbreak of full classrooms

‘TEACHER’ MOM: Parent Cheryl-Ann de Klerk helps out by reading to a Grade 3 class at Helenvale Primary School as the long crisis over teacher shortages continues. Picture: FREDLIN ADRIAAN
‘TEACHER’ MOM: Parent Cheryl-Ann de Klerk helps out by reading to a Grade 3 class at Helenvale Primary School as the long crisis over teacher shortages continues. Picture: FREDLIN ADRIAAN

Principals tell how schools struggle to cope

PRINCIPALS at schools in Nelson Mandela Bay told yesterday of their desperation and despair as crippling teacher shortages continue. At some schools in the northern areas, parents have been supervising in classrooms since May last year.

Helenvale Primary School principal Malcolm Roberts said the school desperately needed two teachers as, at present, parents were supervising one Grade 3 class and one Grade 5 class.

“A parent usually arrives to supervise them and if there are no parents available, we split up the class and put them into other classrooms,” Roberts said.

“But we sometimes end up with 70 children in a class.”

A temporary teacher had left last month as he had heard that the department would not be extending his contract, Roberts said. Also, that teacher had not been paid for two months.

Further teachers with free periods were asked to assist with other classes and Grade 7 teachers assisted by giving pupils “work to do”.

“I am still supposed to lose another teacher according to our post provision, but we are battling without teachers for these classes,” Roberts said. “We also have no money to pay for substitute teachers.”

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