Dear Premier Zille,
Sea Point High is 132 years old this year and has provided education to thousands upon thousands of young people. It is a relatively small school with approximately 450 learners, where we do our best to cater for the educational needs of young adults from very diverse backgrounds and to prepare them for the challenges after school and a better life for all. The vast majority of our learners do not live in the area, but have to make use of public transport to commute to school.
Most of our learners come to us from previously disadvantaged areas, such as Khayalitsha, Langa, Mitchells Plain, Crossroads, Delft, etc. The teachers also cannot afford to live in the area and have to commute great distances from the southern and northern suburbs, having to spend anything between 30 to 45 minutes per day in traffic to get to school. Many teachers have to get up as early as 4 am in the mornings to get to school and avoid the dense traffic.
Learners also have to deal with the same situation. They have to get up early to use unreliable public transport and this leads to many instances of latecoming. This then also impacts negatively on their education, especially during exam times, as they arrive late for exam sessions and are not given additional time to complete the papers. Them having to get up early in the mornings also leads to drowsiness during the day and they find it hard to concentrate on their work. Their time to complete homework at home and spend time with the family is also jeopardized by the long time spent on public transport.
The school was also forced to cut down on sporting activities, due to the fact that players arrive home very late after practices and matches and this can lead to dangerous situations. Many of our learners have been mugged on their way to and from school and are living with the physical and emotional scars of their experiences.
The average salary of a teacher is approximately R16 000 per month, which clearly shows that it is impossible for them to own or rent any property in the Sea Point area.
Mr P. Botha (Principal)