WCape students protest for textbooks

2015-05-21 14:41
Students from Maitland High School protest outside the Western Cape Education Department. (Tina Hsu, News24)

Students from Maitland High School protest outside the Western Cape Education Department. (Tina Hsu, News24)

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Cape Town – About two hundred high school learners from a Cape Town school protested outside the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) on Thursday to demand more textbooks.

Grade 8 to 12 learners from Maitland High School, clad in full school attire and school bags, were bearing paper signs that read, “No textbooks, no school” and “5 months with no textbooks”.

“It’s been five months since January that we don’t have textbooks,” said 16-year-old Margaret Chiunye, a Grade 9 learner.

According to Chiunye, many learners from Grade 9 to 12 still do not have access to textbooks.

“We need textbooks. We want the highest education,” she added.

Matric learner and prefect at Maitland High, Nonkosi Mashiqa, explained that less than a quarter of Grade 12’s have textbooks.


She said that learners attempted to bring the issue to light with the principal, but their attempts fell on deaf ears.

They decided to take up the complaint with the department of education.

“I’m angry,” said Mashiqa. “The school is complaining about progress but we don’t even have textbooks.”

With exams coming up, learners are also concerned with the lack of study material.

Paddy Attwell, spokesperson for WCED, told News24 that officials visited the school shortly after the protest.

Attwell said the department and the school have agreed to postpone the exams and a catch-up programme will be implemented. Textbooks are expected to be delivered in the coming week.

"The school has seen a considerable growth in enrolment this year and needed top-up supplies of textbooks," he added.

Photos by News24's Tina Hsu.

Read more on:    cape town  |  education  |  protests

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