Burglars plunder school

2016-03-15 06:00
 Grade 7 pupils of Eastville Primary School took to the streets to ask for residents’ help in safeguarding their school, following 20 break-ins this year. PHOTO: samantha Lee

Grade 7 pupils of Eastville Primary School took to the streets to ask for residents’ help in safeguarding their school, following 20 break-ins this year. PHOTO: samantha Lee

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Following numerous burglaries by people they refer to as their neighbours, pupils of Eastville Primary School held a placard demonstration outside the school in Katdoring Street, Eastridge last Tuesday before walking the perimeter of the school.

The pupils chanted and sang with great enthusiasm as they asked residents’ help in protecting their school.

The group of about 140 Grade 7 pupils walked the surrounding areas, following Baobab, Amarula and Katdoring streets.

The demonstration form part of a pilot project that will see the school partnering with police and the local neighbourhood watch.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Ian Williams says: “We hope this will bring awareness of the break-ins at the school and hope the residents realise they also have a role to play. The school can’t afford around-the-clock security and the police also can’t be static and stand off at the school.”

The hope is to form a school watch made up of neighbouring residents.

School principal Graham Stark says it is time for the community to take ownership of their school.

“This is a no-fees school and we rely on the subsidy to sustain us. We can’t keep using it to accommodate thieves,” says Stark.

Stark adds that since the school opened in January there have been 20 burglaries. The most recent one was just a week ago.

“The biggest loss is teacher and learner supports,” says Stark.

This year so far thieves have damaged ceilings, broken windows, stolen all the electrical wiring and damaged circuit breakers in both school blocks.

They have even stolen textbooks, forcing the school to take drastic measures.

He estimates the damages to be a few hundred thousand rand.

“There is no electricity, so teachers can’t use computers or projectors,” says Stark.

“I really have great respect for my teachers, because it is demoralising, but still they continue teaching.”

Stark adds that residents should work with the school by looking after the school.

He urges residents to call police if they see any suspicious people on the school property.

He adds the school is theirs and should be their responsibility because their children attend it.

“I must say thank you to the police for their continued support. I hope the police are successful in seeing the community taking responsibility for the school,” says Stark. V Share your thoughts with us. Starting with the word “Mpost” SMS your views to 32516 or email letters@peoplespost.co.za. SMSes cost R1.

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