Fate of Cape Town's Uitsig High in the balance again

2017-01-13 21:41
(File, iStock)

(File, iStock)

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Cape Town - Cosatu has criticised the Western Cape Education Department for its plan to close down the “unsafe” Uitsig High School in Parow Valley.

The department said it had no choice because vandals were carrying it away “brick by brick”.

In an open letter on Friday, the Congress of SA Trade Unions’ provincial chairperson Tony Ehrenreich expressed dismay at the plans. He suggested the department was deliberately allowing it to fall into disrepair to justify its closure.

“If they were concerned, they would have fixed the school and put in place proper security, to guard the school.”

The matriculants there had worked hard to achieve a 75% pass rate, he said.

The school had been on the brink of closure for several years, but protests and lobbying by some parents had seen it remain open.

Ehrenreich said the department's officials were only concerned about making sure the schools their children went to were properly maintained. He accused them of neglecting pupils at Uitsig High.

Department spokesperson Jessica Shelver insisted that the pupils could not stay there because of ongoing vandalism and theft, which were making the school unsafe.

Vandals had stolen plumbing, power lines, and light fittings. The metal legs had been broken off many of the desks to be sold for scrap.

When security guards were posted to guard the school premises, stones were thrown at them and people drawing weapons threatened them.

She said thieves were targeting the school for building materials and carrying it off one brick at a time.

“It is a gross human rights violation to insist that the learners continue to receive an education at the school,” Shelver said. She accused Cosatu of political point-scoring.

A meeting between district officials and parents would be held next week. In the meantime, some pupils had been moved to Ravensmead High School and St Andrews High School so they did not lose teaching time.

Read more on:    cape town  |  education

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