Excitement for the new academic school year is palpable around the country for learners. However, for a primary school in Tsolo in the Eastern Cape, there’s not much to be excited about.

Mcheni Primary School learners will have to attend class in the open or in mud or corrugated iron structures. This is because structures supplied by the Education Department are yet to be erected.

The mud structures were built by parents in 1994, while the corrugated iron structures were left by a construction company.

Teaching and learning conditions deteriorated when heavy winds blew the rooftops of the corrugated iron structures in August last year.

“We are still not satisfied that our kids will be schooling in the open and in mud structures. We are not sure as to when those prefab structures will be completed. They need to fast track the erecting of those structures and they also need to fast track the building of the school,” says a concerned parent.

It seems there is a glimmer of hope with prefab structures, but parents believe it won’t be enough.

The Education Department spent at least R17 million on the construction of the school but it was left incomplete in 2012.

The Department says it’s pursuing legal action against the construction company in question.

“We’ve already put up five prefab classrooms and by next week we’ll put up an additional three classrooms so that learning and teaching can take place. This measure is only as we continue with the litigation against the previous contractor who messed up the construction of the new school he had been awarded,” says Education Department Spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani.

Learners at the school hope the matter can be resolved, so they can have a constructive learning environment.