Have your say - email editorial@southern-star.com.au                Picture: iStock
Have your say - email editorial@southern-star.com.au Picture: iStock

Classroom shortage sparks outrage in community

A CLASSROOM shortage which forced students at a school in Brisbane's south to work outside in 30C-plus conditions, has seen the community step in to offer advice on how to fix the problem.

And there's one thing they all agree needs to be addressed - stopping out of catchment enrolments.

Social media has been flooded by hundreds of comments about the issue at Mansfield State High School.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Education Minister Kate Jones with principal Karen Tanks at Mansfield State High School. Picture: Tara Croser.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Education Minister Kate Jones with principal Karen Tanks at Mansfield State High School. Picture: Tara Croser.

At least 18 lessons were held in undercover areas during the first week of school, when temperatures soared above 30C.

Principal Karen Tanks blamed the situation on a delay to the opening of a $1.4 million music block, which will house both music and general classes.

But an Education Department spokeswoman said the building was never meant to be completed before students returned to school.

People from across Brisbane and further afield have shared their views on Facebook, some outraged, others lacking empathy about the students left "sweltering" outdoors.

Some locals have even floated innovative ways to manage schools which are "bursting" at the seams.

HERE'S WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING:

Mansfield State High School.
Mansfield State High School.

Cap enrolment

Toni Cullen: "This is so wrong. They've already made is hard for parents to be able to choose their preferred school with "catchment area" rules, the government needs to build more schools, so our children can get an education."

Eddie Jennings: "And I bet a lot of those students at that school are not in the catchment area and shouldn't be there. Weed them all out and send them elsewhere. You can blame selfish self-righteous parents for that."

Danielle Bruce: "If there are too many for the classes and the school, shouldn't there be a cut-off and they have to go to the next closest school?"

Michelle Bell: "That is pretty slack. That's a huge amount of students in one school! I think they are trying to cater for too many students. It was pretty darn hot last week too."

Lisa Ness: "Surely schools have a cap on how many students they can accept? Makes no sense that a school already at capacity has to accept more enrolments. Is there a catchment area for Mansfield SHS? If not, there should be!"

Liz-Warren Vousden: "There probably is. However it requires somebody to be able to add up to enforce the policy."

 

Member for Mansfield Corrine McMillan at Mansfield State High School.
Member for Mansfield Corrine McMillan at Mansfield State High School.

No empathy

Jodi N Rod Klerks: "Construction delays happen … good grief … it is a few days in summer. If you are not happy, choose a different school. There are hundreds lining up who would happily take your place."

Brooke Whittingham: "Oh brother. The things people complain about. It will do the kids good, 30C is fine with shade and water - and it's so temporary. The parents complaining should leave if they aren't happy and free up some space for other kids deserving the opportunity to be part of such a great school."

Janine Ireland: "Oh the poor babies having to sit outside in the heat. Missing their airconditioning. Sarcasm. Harden up people really!"

Mansfield State High School is ranked one of the best schools in Queensland. Photo: AAP/Steve Pohlner
Mansfield State High School is ranked one of the best schools in Queensland. Photo: AAP/Steve Pohlner

Outrage over school situation

Andrew Bell: "C'mon guys, pretty slack. Almost as slack as the primary school.

Margaret Perry: "I think that this is terrible … kids going to school should be able to have a classroom to go to each day … it is not about gardening up … current State Government is responsible for this."

Danielle Voltz: "Holy crap, that's so not good!"

Zizi Touqan: "It's not any better inside the classrooms anyway. I feel so sorry for the kids."

Wendy Lister: "How insane in this heat, why would they keep taking on more students when they don't have enough classrooms."

 

What do you think? Email editorial@southern-star.com.au
What do you think? Email editorial@southern-star.com.au

Outside is cooler than classrooms

Karen Mcfadden: "Being outside in the shade is cooler than being in a classroom with useless ceiling fans!"

Tee Jay: "I love my sons allocated outdoor lessons. It's beautiful in the shade."

Jane Nicholson: "If by outside you mean in a shaded area or under trees, it was probably cooler than inside the classroom. I'm sure the kids enjoyed it."

Sam Jeffs: "It's not ideal … but they had a covered area and were supervised. First world problems really."

Dawn Mickelo: "I'd rather be outside undercover than inside a classroom."

Some people are outraged at the situation, others don’t think it is a big deal.
Some people are outraged at the situation, others don’t think it is a big deal.

Ways to fix the issue

Lisa Lyttle: "Why not have school in shifts? It's been done successfully overseas. Instead if building more infrastructure, have a morning cohort and an evening cohort. Some kids start at 7am and are out by 12pm, others are in at 12pm and out by 6pm. This type of flexibility may suit more parents and children and it would be a more efficient use of availability resources. A friend of mine taught in Canada many years ago and said it worked well."

Cherie Porter: "I really like this idea. The flexibility it provides to families is fantastic and I can only think this would be more cost effective than building more schools."

A lot has changed over the years

Leeann Payne: Wow! A few more than the 1000 students we had there in the '80s."

Jeety Wild: "Looks a lot different to when I attended as a foundation year student."

Iris French: "Years ago our kids had to sit in demountables with no power for light or fan."



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