Drugs and alcohol join pupils on first day of school

2011-01-13 11:28

With education authorities claiming that the first day of the 2011 school year “proceeded well”, news reports today revealed that some pupils were drinking ciders, supposedly on their way to school.

According to other reports, one high school had a dagga field “the size of a football field”, and at another school, the desks had allegedly been stolen for firewood.

Under the front-page headline “Booze High”, the Sowetan newspaper published pictures of three high school pupils in uniform, from two schools in Kagiso near Krugersdorp, drinking cider.

It reported that two of the boys came from Madiba Combined School, while the third was identified as attending Mandisa Shiceka Secondary School.

The Sowetan quoted Madiba’s deputy principal, Salthiel Dijoe. He promised to take action against his two pupils.

In another article it reported that pupils at Boitumelong High School in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni, “will attend classes in a yard infested with dagga plants”.

The plantation was “the size of a soccer field”.

With photographs showing the plantation, the report quoted a seven-year-old as saying: “I can show you what a dagga plant looks like. People smoke it every day in the yard.”

According to the article, the yard was meant to be a sports field.

The front page of South Africa’s largest circulating daily newspaper, Daily Sun, printed photos of pupils from Alexandra High School sitting on the metal frames of what were once desks.

According to the report, the wood had been stolen for firewood.

Both newspapers reported that attempts to obtain comment from the Gauteng education department had been unsuccessful.

Yesterday the department’s spokesperson, Charles Phahlane, said: “We are pleased that the first day of schooling in Gauteng proceeded well.”

Today Sapa was not able to obtain comment from the department.

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