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Department intervenes to help Kensington school

The Gauteng Department of Education said it is aware that the school has been having some issues and they are in the process of addressing these concerns.

Kensington Ridge Primary School has been faced with a number of challenges, which has led to residents taking to social media to express their concern.

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Residents complain about the unruly behavior of the children, while some have expressed frustration over the perceived lack of response from the school.

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Other concerns include children not being picked up on time as many cannot afford transport, and a reportedly non-functional school governing body (SGB).

The Gauteng Department of Education said it is aware that the school has been having some issues and they are in the process of addressing these concerns.

Commenting on the issue of the SGB and its functioning, department spokesperson Steve Mabona said the SGB’s term lapsed on February 28 and that the school has already interacted with parents to participate in the election of a new SGB.

“The department normally intervenes when there are conflicts in the SGB and as such sometimes dissolves non-functional SGBs,” Mabona said. “We hope the newly elected SGB will bring stability to the school.”

The SGB election is scheduled for March 7.

Mabona explained the school is currently classified as a quintile five school. “This means learners who attend the school should be able to afford the fees, but this is not the case as some learners’ families cannot afford the R7 500 per year school fees.

“As the department, we are considering a review of a number of schools classified as quintile 4/5, including Kensington Ridge, because the demographic profiles have changed drastically,” Mabona added.

The school is 81 years old and it previously catered for the Kensington area, but over the years the demographics have changed leading to the school catering for surrounding areas including Malvern, Denver, Yeoville and even further afield.

There have also been concerns about some learners not being able to afford lunch.

Mabona said the department will assist the school with raising funds to help needy learners.

“The district office has committed to assisting the school to embark on fund-raising activity to assist needy learners with food. This will be an interim solution while waiting for finalisation of the quintile review process.”

He added that an assessment was done on the condition of the school.

“We have already conducted an assessment, which necessitates maintenance of the school, and as such appointment of the service provider is anticipated to be finalised before the end of March.”

The department urged the community to support the school.

“We appeal to the community members to play a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth running of schools within their areas,” Mabona said. “As the department we will also continue to monitor the situation at the school.”

The above response followed a visit to the school by officials together with Ward 118 Clr Neuren Pietersen on February 18.

The purpose of the visit was to assess the general condition of the school.

“We now have a clear understanding of the situation in the school, and hope the community will look at ways of how we can assist the school,” said Pietersen.

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