Woodlands Primary pupils are in danger, allege parents

2016-04-26 12:16
Teachers and pupils protest outside Woodlands Primary School

Teachers and pupils protest outside Woodlands Primary School (Chelsea Pieterse, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - Parents whose children attend Woodlands Primary School say the number of protests at the school are putting their children in danger.

Teachers at the school, who are calling on the Education Department to declare the school a health hazard, embarked on another protest outside the premises on Tuesday.

The parents said they should have been notified of the protest so they could make arrangements for their children. “We send our children to school in trust that they will be there for the day, but when they arrived yesterday the gates were closed and the teachers were picketing outside,” said a grandparent, who asked not to be named for fear that her grandchildren would be victimised.

She said she understood the school’s staff were fighting for a legitimate cause, but added “the children should be made a priority”.

“I attended the school, my children attended the school and now my grandchildren are there. Yes, the school is rubbish and the teachers are fighting for a good cause, but they need to think about the safety of the children,” she said.

Another parent said children were roaming in areas around the school as they did not have transportation to return home yesterday morning.

“What happens if these children get knocked [down] or kidnapped? No one is watching these children and, in this society, our children are not safe,” said another parent.

Education Department spokesperson Sihle Mlotshwa said the department acknowledged the situation at Woodlands Primary School was “hazardous”. “Officials from the department went to meet the parents over the issue today (yesterday). The department had promised mobile classrooms, but the parents refused to accept our offer … the school remains one of our priorities, although I cannot give an estimate of when the department will start refurbishment of the school. We are working hard to make sure that the school is rebuilt,” he said.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

• sabelo.nsele@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  pupils  |  protest  |  school

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