Gauteng school admits to racially segregating pupils

2015-05-14 19:35

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Johannesburg - An investigation has determined that the Curro Foundation School in Roodeplaat, near Pretoria, did segregate its Grade R pupils according to race after it was pressurised by white parents, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said on Thursday.

"In January this year we received complaints with regard to allegations of racial segregation... It was alleged that some classes were made up of only black learners and white learners were grouped together separately," he said in a statement. 

The department instructed Harris Nupen Molebatse Attorneys to conduct an investigation, following a petition from parents.

"The findings of the investigation confirmed the allegations that there was indeed segregation of learners at the school. This was confirmed by Curro management and they admitted that this was as a result of pressure from certain white parents," Lesufi said. 

"The school has admitted that its practice of segregation was wrong and they have acted quickly to reallocate learners of minority racial groups throughout the three English classes in Grade R after the submission of the petition.

"In so doing, they have acted swiftly and they have also taken the steps of apologising, both to parents and publicly in the media.

"The fact that the school has apologised for what took place and corrected the problem, appears to be an acceptance that what transpired was discriminatory and problematic."

The department acknowledged that "diversity training" had taken place at the school, however it recommended that the training be done on an annual basis for the school management and teachers.  

The Democratic Alliance welcomed the findings. 

"We... note the remedial steps taken by Education MEC Panyaza and his strong condemnation against racism at the Curro School... which the management admitted received pressure from white parents to separate learners based on their cultural backgrounds," DA MPL Khume Ramulifho said. 

"Diversity is the heartbeat of our democracy and the DA calls on parents across our province to foster a sense of unity in diversity among our children, and build a society of freedom, fairness and opportunity."

Read more on:    panyaza lesufi  |  pretoria  |  racism

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