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Staff shortages at KZN special needs school leaves pupils unable to start school

Staff shortages at the Harding Special Boarding School has led to the closure of boarding houses.

Picture: Supplied

DURBAN - Over 130 pupils at a boarding school for children with special needs in KwaZulu-Natal have not been able to start school this year.

This was due to staff shortages at the Harding Special Boarding School, which has led to the closure of boarding houses.

Parents and the surrounding community said they felt that the government had failed them as the issue of staff shortages was raised over the past three years.

Katrina Mbanjwa, the mother of six-year-old Unathi, said her daughter was supposed to start grade 2 this year. She said the closure of the school’s boarding houses had compromised her child’s right to education.

“I feel incredibly hurt, I’ve had to take my daughter to a crèche and spend time with her there so that she doesn’t feel bored,” she said.

Jabu Khoza of the provincial Education Department said they would add more support staff to the school.

“Parents have been informed through an SMS system that on Monday the learners will be expected to return to the hostels as there will be enough support for them,” Khoza said.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance’s Rishigan Viranna called for those responsible for the delays in staff appointments to be held responsible.