Limpopo prepares for harsh school year

Limpopo teachers and pupils say they’re preparing for tree schools, pit toilets & snake bites.

Tsogang Primary School in Ramadumo village, Limpopo, 15 January 2014. Picture: Tara Meaney/EWN.

LIMPOPO - Both pupils and and teachers in rural Limpopo say they are preparing for another year of so-called tree schools, pit toilets, overcrowding in classrooms without roofs and even snake bites.

After two years of textbook delays in the troubled province, pupils say they are grateful to have been given their learning material on the first day.

Pupils wash their hands at Tsogang Primary in Ramadumo village, Limpopo, 15 January 2014. Picture: Tara Meaney/EWN.

But they admit this is cold comfort without a roof over their heads.

On Wednesday, hundreds of boys queued outside a small concrete barrier housing two tiny holes in the ground, hoping to relieve themselves before their break ended

It was at one of these makeshift toilets at Tsogang Primary School that a young boy was bitten by a venomous snake late last year.

The boy's teacher says he was lucky to survive, but will no longer go near the pit toilets.

During a similar queuing procession at the Motsipa Secondary School in Bolobedu, a grade 9 pupil told Eyewitness News he often wishes he was born in another province.

"I feel like I can cry…Eish Limpopo".

Students spend breaktime outside the Motsipa Secondary School in Bolobedu, Limpopo. The roof blew off in February 2013. 15 January 2014. Picture: Tara Meaney/EWN.

The child's visibly concerned maths teacher later looked up at the cloudy sky and said he was worried about having to cancel lessons, should the rain come down.

"We have no roof and no chance."

Just a few metres away, his colleague placed a few bent chairs under a tree, where Grade 8s would be given their English lesson.