Limpopo pupils boycott classes

Giyani - Pupils at two Limpopo schools continued their boycott of classes this week in protest against a shortage of maths, physical science, and life science teachers.

The affected schools are SDW Nxumalo Secondary School and Shitlangoma High School in Malamulele, near Giyani.

"It is pointless to allow our children to go to class while there are no teachers. They just sit and look at each other, while other children in other areas are getting ahead with their education," said Gezani Chauke, school governing body chairperson and a parent at SDW Nxumalo.

"We want our government to stop playing with us and send maths, physical science and life science teachers. Or else we will continue with the protest," he said.

President of the school's learner representative council, Nhlamulo Mabunda, said the boycott would continue until they had teachers.

"We want to make sure that each and every learner is being taught during school hours, not that they come here to play and eat lunch and go home," she said.

Last week, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi tried to intervene and pupils returned briefly on Friday and Monday. When no progress was made, the boycott resumed on Tuesday this week.

Provincial education department spokesman Neladzani Rasila said there was no crisis at the schools.

He said the department had given the district the opportunity to recruit teachers, and agriculture teachers, who had been trained through the department of basic education's Funza Lushaka bursary programme.

The department would advertise for maths, physical and life sciences teachers after determining which schools needed teachers.

Last year, Malamulele residents shut down schools during protests to demand their own municipality.

They argued that the Thulamela municipality was favouring Tshivenda speaking people at the expense of Xitsonga speaking residents.

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