Gelvandale Rufane Donkin Primary School

Photo: @JayedLeigh / TW

Gelvandale: PE community shuts down dilapidated primary school

The Gelvandale community disrupted proceedings at the school and closed it down on Monday 27 January.

Gelvandale Rufane Donkin Primary School

Photo: @JayedLeigh / TW

The Gelvandale community, in Port Elizabeth (PE), has vowed to close down Rufane Donkin Primary School that has been left tin a state of neglect by the Eastern Cape Education Department for eight years.

Gelvandale parents force closure of PE primary school

According to a statement issued by the department, the Gelvandale community disrupted proceedings at the school and closed it down on Monday 27 January.

The statement listed the following reasons — given by the Gelvandale community — for why the school was closed down:

  • the school has unfurnished classrooms and exposes pupils to the unsafe conditions of the building;
  • there are insufficient classrooms. Gelvandale parents found out that staffers have no teacher’s area due to shortage of space; and
  • break-ins are rife due to the unfinished building;

The parents made it clear to the province’s education department that none of their children would be allowed into that dilapidated building. Instead, the community has called on the department to provide five pre-fab classrooms to allow teachers to resume with the curriculum while the matter of the building’s construction is sorted.

Why is the school construction not complete?

It is believed that relations between the contractor and the implementing agency broke down after payments were not made to the former.

However, the department confirmed that all of this was sorted and that “negotiations are at an advanced stage to resume work on the site.”

‘The dual-medium teaching does create additional challenges as it falls outside [of] the infrastructure norms and standards. The current 19 classrooms should ordinarily accommodate the 660+ learners that are currently admitted to the school. The department will fully engage the school governing body (SGB) about the prevailing conditions at the school to make sure that we can reach an amicable resolution, and that all safety concerns are immediately dealt with.

“The department appreciates the seriousness of the concerns raised by the parents and profusely regrets the delay in completing the building site,” the statement read.