WCape pupils to get new classes
Cape Town - The pupils who went on the rampage this week at a Malmesbury school have got what they wanted: new classrooms.
Western Cape education MEC Donald Grant said on Thursday that Naphakade Secondary School would be moved to temporary classrooms on a new site as soon as possible.
Pupils protesting massive overcrowding clashed with police and set fire to five classrooms in two days of violence at Naphakade, which shares premises with a primary school of the same name.
Some 1 500 primary and secondary pupils were reportedly crammed into 25 classrooms at the school.
On Wednesday Grant said his department was already planning a new high school in Malmesbury, and insisted that "we will not, under any circumstances, be forced by communities to change our infrastructure development plans in response to violent actions".
However on Thursday he said in a statement that there had been extensive consultation between the department, the Naphakade school governing body, and community representatives.
"Last night, it was agreed, in principle, that the WCED (Western Cape education department) would relocate Naphakade Secondary to an alternative site, the location of which has already been negotiated with the local authority," he said.
"Learners will be housed in ten to 15 mobile units and provision will also be made for administration and ablution facilities.
"We are working with all the relevant authorities to ensure that the relocation process will be completed as soon as possible."
Grant said earlier this week - before there was talk of a temporary solution - that the department intended to have the new school open by the beginning of 2012.
He said on Thursday there had also been an agreement that there would be no more violence.
The school had been closed following the unrest, but was to re-open on Monday.