Northern Cape schools back to normal

2012-09-26 17:20
Classroom (File, <a href=\\\\>Shutterstock</a>)

Classroom (File, Shutterstock)

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Johannesburg - Children in the Northern Cape have returned to 41 schools previously closed because of intimidation, the provincial education department said on Wednesday.

"Our schools have resumed and we are hopeful that all learners, teachers, parents, and communities will grasp this opportunity to refocus their energy on what needs to be done," spokesman Sydney Stander said in a statement.

He said the department was ready to support pupils and teachers to restore schooling.

Earlier in the day, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela visited Olifantshoek, where there were still problems with pupil absenteeism.

"She will meet the transport and infrastructure committee of surrounding villages, and the broader community in Olifantshoek, to try and find out why children aren't back at schools," said her spokesperson Kgalalelo Masibi.

A total of 41 schools in the province were closed because of intimidation and protests - not education-related - in mainly the John Taolo Gaetsewe district municipal area. Pupils have not attended school since June.

Residents have been protesting about a lack of tarred roads and other municipal services.

The National Professional Teachers' Organisation of SA (Naptosa) in the Northern Cape said teachers were ready to do whatever was necessary to help pupils prepare for their year-end exams.

"Hard work by learners and teachers is extremely important in the weeks ahead," Naptosa CEO Louwrens Strydom said.

"A lot of academic work has been lost and both learners and teachers must use all their energy in revising the work done before the schools were closed, and catching up the work lost up to now."

The African National Congress in the Northern Cape welcomed the return of children to schools in the district.

"We would like to request every citizen to work with the provincial leadership in a systematic and focused manner to address the service delivery and developmental needs of our communities living in rural and mining towns," ANC spokesperson Gail Parker said.

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