50% of pupils return to reopened Roodepoort school

2015-09-09 16:58
Roodepoort primary school badge. (Jermaine DeKock, Twitter)

Roodepoort primary school badge. (Jermaine DeKock, Twitter)

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Johannesburg - Just over half of the pupils at the troubled Roodepoort Primary School arrived on Wednesday when the school officially reopened.

The Gauteng education department tweeted on its official account that the school was reopened without disruption. 

"Learner attendance today stood at 643 learners," it tweeted. 

The school has about 1 200 pupils. 

The department tweeted that there were 61 requests from parents to transfer their children to other schools, a figure spokesperson Phumla Sekhonyane confirmed.

"We're at [the nearby] Matholeville Hall, [where the] post-school reopening discussion continues," she said on Wednesday morning. 

Premier David Makhura announced on Friday that the school would be reopened, following the recommendations of a mediation team appointed to find solutions to problems at the school. 

The Davidsonville-based school, which has been mired in allegations of corruption and racism, was temporarily closed three weeks ago. It was also the site of several clashes between residents and the police.

Some pupils were moved to Lufhereng Primary School in Soweto during the closure, while others went to churches and nearby halls for classes. 

Parents and residents in the largely coloured area had claimed the appointment of the black principal and her two deputies was irregular. They rejected two reports, one clearing their appointment and another clearing them of financial mismanagement.

The mediation team's Molefe Tsele said while the appointments were the "trigger event" for the unrest, residents had decided the most important issue needing resolution was the school's reopening. 

The matter of the appointments would be dealt with in a mediation process later.

The Democratic Alliance said it was concerned by Wednesday's pupil attendance.

DA MPL Khume Ramulifho said while the party respected the requests of those parents who wanted to transfer their children to other schools, they hoped these parents would reconsider until the academic year drew to a close.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  education

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