Community vows to keep schools closed until roads are tarred

2019-07-09 21:36
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The residents of Zebediela in Limpopo remain divided on whether to allow almost 3 000 pupils to return to school.

The pupils have been out of class for more than three months after residents shut down the area when their demand for a tarred road was not met.

A community leader, who did not want to be named, said: "There will be no schooling until we are assured that the tar road will be constructed and the four leaders who have been arrested are released."

This was in contrast to their counterparts in Madisha Leolo and Motsetsereng villages who allowed pupils to go back to school.

When schools officially reopened on Tuesday, some pupils trickled back to four of the seven schools under police guard. Three other schools stood empty and the police had to forcefully open the gate at Mofotsala Primary School to allow teachers to gain entry.

The reopening of the schools followed a warning by Education MEC Polly Boshielo to prosecute parents under the South African Schools Act if they refused to allow the pupils to return to class.

However, parents at Madisha Ditoro village, where three schools remain shut, vowed at an impromptu mass meeting to continue with protest action.

They refused to accept letters from the education authorities warning them to allow schooling to continue or face prosecution.

A classroom at Mmamathi Primary School has since been set alight and there was an attempted arson attack at Mafiakgomo Secondary School on Monday night.

Boshielo, who visited the area with Transport and Community Safety MEC Dickson Masemola, said the authorities would seek a court order to compel parents at all the schools to allow education in the area to continue.

"We are consulting with the state attorney to get a court order to stop parents from preventing their children from going to school. We are serious this time and we want all the pupils back at school," she added.

Speaking to the media, Masemola said: "We are confident that by the end of this week all schools will be reopened. I hope they [parents] will not wait until a confrontation with the authorities."  

Read more on:    polokwane  |  protests  |  service delivery  |  education
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