Dept threatens 'tree school' parents

2012-05-30 16:20

Johannesburg - Parents of children attending a "tree school" in Silvermine village in Limpopo could face charges for denying their children state-approved education, an official said on Wednesday.

The village established its own "so-called school", Selowe Primary, which had no buildings, sanitation or qualified teachers, said provincial education spokesperson Pat Kgomo.

The Sunday Times reported that the 14 teachers and principal of the school - which has classes conducted under trees - were not paid by the department.

Nearly raped

Kgomo said the conditions of schooling were unacceptable to the department as the teachers were mainly unqualified as educators.

The department offered the option of scholar transport to two nearby schools, but parents refused.

This was because they claimed two children were "nearly raped" while walking part of the way to the schools, which vehicles could not traverse.

"We have appealed to the municipality for more roads because the village is isolated and more infrastructure is needed," Kgomo said.

No real prospects of growth

A feasibility study found that the village had only a small number of primary school aged children, and no real prospects of growth. Nonetheless, the department decided there was a need for a school in the area.

Kgomo said the department would arrange for mobile classes in Silvermine village next year, if not a fully fledged school.

In the meantime, however, parents were legally responsible for ensuring their children's constitutional rights to education were met.

"Otherwise, they would be set back another year."

He said despite numerous attempts to convince the community to make use of the scholar transport to get to neighbouring schools in the interim, parents "flatly refused".

Holding the department to ransom

The department sent a delegation last week to the council of the local traditional leader to ask him to speak to the community to resolve the impasse.

"We have given them our commitment... but by refusing scholar transport [until classes can be established in Silvermine] residents are holding the department to ransom," Kgomo said.

The Sowetan reported on Wednesday that parents were unsatisfied with the department's proposals.

Phineas Mogale, whose four children attend Selowe Primary School, said: "It is better for our children to learn where they are safe than for them to be vulnerable to criminals."

  • Peter-Peter - 2012-05-30 16:30

    Does government know the meaning of governance? Do they realize that to make a country work, they need to train their little minions into understanding that there are processes? or is this 'freedom' promised by the ANC to their voters, mean the freedom to do whatever they want...and that includes making up unfunded 'schools' like this, and only realize the problem, once the 'school' starts complaining about the things they dont have? these people just simply do...not...have...a...clue

      Fussed - 2012-05-30 16:32

      Tree school, you get educated "state-approved education" means you stay an IDIOT

      Squeegee - 2012-05-30 16:47

      The ANC is headed for another media humiliation.

      Luviwe - 2012-05-30 18:24

      @Leonardb1, yes an error of judgement was made. Now they are trying to correct that and the community does not budge. The head line is misleading in my opinion.

      shelley.nott - 2012-05-30 21:29

      Dude, I would be one of those unpaid teachers doing the teachers - no bloody way I would send my little ones on a dangerous journey daily where they may be raped or god knows what else. WTF? So the gvt doesn't have roads for proper transport the entire way, so the kids must walk and maybe get raped - and the gvt is pissed people refused to accept that? They aren't burning things or breaking things, they are arranging by themselves to give their kids the best education that they can, whilst the government umms and aahs and doesn't fix the situation. At least next year they will have something in place, but in the meantime? mmm. Someone must try force me to put my kids in danger I will kick their head in

      goyougoodthing - 2012-05-30 21:59

      Pathetic ANC.

  • eil33nn - 2012-05-30 16:31

    I think R59mil could definetly pay for roads, classes and qualified teachers! The kids safety comes first!

      Bibi - 2012-05-30 16:41

      Exactly, instead that fat Zulu king is squandering it away and the government has the audacity to try and impose e-tolling on struggling tax payers already.

      jaysonpaul.beckwith - 2012-05-30 16:58

      Do you think that fat king of bling will part with his millions?? NOT. Yet his kids are getting the best education available, and the wives are dressed to the tee. But these poor kids can't even get the basics of education. Its a sad reality.

  • Marion - 2012-05-30 16:32

    This is so sad. If buses have been offered to transport the kids the parents should make use of them. Perhaps the parents could organize themselves into a group and take turns to walk the kids to/from the transport provided.

      Luviwe - 2012-05-30 16:54

      To me this is just a matter of distrust between government and it's citezens.

      Marion - 2012-05-30 17:14

      Could be Luviwe, but I think they have very real fear of criminals because there is no police presence worth mentioning in rural areas.

      Luviwe - 2012-05-30 17:22

      Yes they might be more vulneerable when they are walking than a scholar transport because they are using pick up points and they will be in groups which in turn will make it difficult for criminals I yhink. Take what you said on ypur main post into account. African parents need to take responsibility for the safety of their children as well in trying to meet the government halfway.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-05-30 21:56

      There is no police presence anywhere Marion.

  • Jennifer - 2012-05-30 16:33

    Shame on you ANC. what excuse do you all have, you live in luxury, your kids go to the best schools which would be fine if you provided proper schooling for the rest of the people but after 20 years and billions and billions in taxes, you haven't. ANC is not going to suddenly change, None of them have shown real care for this Nation, We all pay tax on petrol and food and everything we buy and they buy whiskey , fab clothes and send their children to the best schools with it It is time for change

      Squeegee - 2012-05-30 17:55

      Jennifer, normally I would agree, but, look at the facts.. 14 untrained people have created employment for which they are not qualified. If I just set up a clinic and called ourselves a government hospital and then demanded doctor's salaries, you would think I'm mad. How big is the village? Is a school viable? etc.... Not everyone in dispute with the ANC is necessarily right.

      Luviwe - 2012-05-30 18:10

      @Squeegee, you are right, the department had acknowledged the need for a school. They want to put an infrastracture with qualified personnel, that is why they are providing scholar transport. The problem now is to geet parents to understand those dynamics. I wish these were the kind of problems tackled in these forums everyday coming up with suggestions for solution in building SA.

      Jennifer - 2012-05-30 19:07

      Hi Squeegee and Luviwe, I agree with you both. I didn't say tree school is right, I said that money that should have prevented tree school has been spent on holidays and luxuries instead of proper schools. Tree schools with unqualified teachers and no books are a terrible solution .

      Luviwe - 2012-05-30 19:16

      Jennifer I understand your frustration is the same as mine. I have been to places where there were no schools at all and no scholar transport to compensate for that, there are places where you can't find a child with matric. In this instance atleast something is being done and I think it's positive for these children. What do you suggest under the circumstances. take into account that now these children are in this predicament.

      Jennifer - 2012-05-30 21:04

      Luviwe,I hear you , though I simply wish the Government would have used the money they have received over all these years to educate, medicate and protect the people they promised to serve. As you and I have both seen and experienced, people are really suffering. Many people do what they can to help but it is ultimately the governments responsibility, they get so much money to do the job. Acknowledging the need is all that seems to happen with the ANC, discussions and plans get made, huge lunches get eaten and then little or no change happens because they don't have the funds but they have a 400 million rand party saying 400 million rand is nothing!. They are not tribe leaders with rights to take as they please, they were voted for, to serve the country. It infuriates me and breaks my heart that all that tax money has been so unwisely used, so selfishly. Everyday I see the pain, anger and hopelesness in these people and I don't blame them.

  • Luviwe - 2012-05-30 16:52

    With due respect to the incompetence of the government previously. The parents in this case are unreasonable. I would advise the government to send a more senior person politically and assure them that their children will be safe.

      Jennifer - 2012-05-30 21:06

      I hope they do Luviwe

      goyougoodthing - 2012-05-30 21:57

      And if they are raped Luviwe, then who do you send, the Spear of the Nation?

  • Tony Lapson - 2012-05-30 17:49

    In other news, A King is granted R59 million for being born into a different circumstance.

  • Zahir - 2012-05-30 18:36

    The govt does not have time to deliver services to voters they all preparing for who gets elected to the top jobs

  • mkgatla3 - 2012-05-30 18:50

    Silvermine village is one of pourest villages at Blouberg,this shows how Anc is failling to provide the basic services,they only go to limpopo when they need votes,No social development at that village,No infrastructure....After so many years of freedom...i can imagine...That village seems to be neglected....I grew nexto that village.

  • Pt - 2012-05-30 21:10

    Does unqualified teachers result in less teaching and education than qualified teachers, especially if the learners feel safer and less fatiqued as a result of travelling. It is the input of the teacher - not always the qualification.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-05-30 21:58

      Qualifications are one thing, a passion is quite something else. I bet these teachers are better than many qualified ones around.

  • Silindile - 2012-05-31 10:58

    So its been established that the walk to the transportation to the real schools is dangerous, simple solution: Get an adult to walk with the kids and meet them in the afternoon to walk them home

  • peter.papola - 2012-06-02 08:12

    ke hlora boroko ele ka nnete bana ka fase ga mohlare nakong ye

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