Students forced to work in tents in school
A QUEENSLAND school is urging the State Government to approve its building application so students no longer have to study under marquees as it braces for another hot summer.
The Capricornia School of Distance Education, which welcomes students to its Rockhampton campus for four weeks each year, can't fit all of its growing cohort inside.
P&C president Jackie Lindenmayer told The Courier-Mail about 150 students had to undergo NAPLAN testing this year at various schools across Rockhampton - which is not a new issue.
New photos have revealed the extent of overcrowding during the "mini school" weeks, with students sitting under marquees on an outdoor setting, standing up and even sitting on the ground in a cramped room to learn.
"It (application) was originally rejected, now it's put on hold," Ms Lindenmayer said.
"We've never been given any reason why it hasn't been approved."
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said it was a disgrace.
"Labor's marquee school debacle needs to be fixed immediately," she said.
The students, who often live in rural and remote parts of Queensland, take part in "mini school" which lasts for a week each term.
About 150 students are expected to attend in term four, which Ms Lindenmayer conceded would be "very hot".
She said department officials had suggested students use the Emerald campus, however some families lived five hours away.
"It's just not a practical, logical solution," she said.
"I just feel like no one's listening, no one's hearing us."
However Education Minister Grace Grace said there were more than adequate facilities across both the campuses.
"The Department of Education is currently working with CSDE to ensure that students participating in mini schools are appropriately allocated across both campuses and to ensure they are fully utilised," she said.
CSDE has grown "exponentially" during the last five years due to a raft of things including its LOTE program.
Ms Lindenmayer, who is also part of the Isolated Children's Parents' Association Queensland which has had discussions with the Department, said students were often outside because there wasn't any available space in doors.
"It's not a good environment to have kids out on," she said.
"We've had 20 kids … in a space that's 3m by 3m and they've got little portable desks they put over their knees to do their work.
"It's ridiculous really."
Ms Lindenmayer said there seemed to be "no logic" around why the building application hadn't been approved, given the school had offered to pay for it.