Philippi High students demand promised new school

2017-03-06 22:07
Students from Philippi High marched to the offices of the Department of Education in Mitchells Plain demanding a new school be built. (Photo: Ashraf Hendricks, GroundUp)

Students from Philippi High marched to the offices of the Department of Education in Mitchells Plain demanding a new school be built. (Photo: Ashraf Hendricks, GroundUp)

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Cape Town - On Monday, about 150 Philippi High School pupils marched to the Metro South education district office, demanding that a new school they say was promised to them be built, GroundUp reports.

At the start of the protest, the children blocked traffic on New Eisleben Road with rocks and debris. Police fired at least one stun grenade to disperse them. Police made several attempts to stop the march, claiming it was illegal, but the high school pupils proceeded.

About 60 pupils crowded the department’s entrance, preventing vehicles from entering.

“We are tired of the department’s promises. If there is no plan for our school, the school will be shut down,” one pupil said over a megaphone.

They wanted an update on the new school. A year ago, police fired stun grenades at children protesting over the lack of infrastructure at the school.

Police attempted to negotiate by letting a handful of pupils into the department building, but they wanted the department to address all of them.

After an hour, from behind the gates, Metro South education district director Glen van Harte told pupils a new school would be built.

“If the gathering is about a new school, I don’t know why you are here,” he said.

Athulle Baba, who matriculated at Philippi High and is now at university, said classes were taught in shipping containers, which were hot in summer and cold in winter.

Mzimabi Mathenga, a Grade 12 pupil, said the department had promised to build a school in two years, but there was no sign of it.

“We need the truth about the school. It’s our education,” he said.

They intended protesting until they got answers.

At the time of publishing, GroundUp was still waiting for comment from the Western Cape Department of Education and the principal of Philippi High School.


Read more on:    education  |  protests

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