Gauteng education MEC concerned about continued school disruptions

2018-01-22 20:13
A member of the public is seen carrying a tire during the Hoërskool Overvaal protest. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

A member of the public is seen carrying a tire during the Hoërskool Overvaal protest. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

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Cape Town – Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi expressed concern over continued disruptions at some schools in Gauteng on Monday, and announced plans to deal with some of the grievances.

"The department calls on community members to refrain from disrupting the education of learners," a statement from his office read.

"Parents and communities should note that it is difficult to recover lost curriculum time and children end up being the victims."

Protests were noted at Noordgesig Primary School, Daliwonga High School, Hoërskool Akasia and Ponelopele High School. Schools in Kagiso and Munsieville were also disrupted during anti-crime protests in the Mogale City area, west of Johannesburg.

The MEC would visit Noordgesig Primary School on Tuesday, to follow up on a meeting attended by departmental representatives at the school on Friday.

A team has been sent to discuss a complaint against a teacher, the principal and school governing body chairperson at Daliwonga High School.

Concern was also raised over a group of parents who dropped their children off in school uniform at Hoërskool Akasia on Monday, in protest over their non-admission. The department was concerned that the children were left unsupervised.

The school is apparently full and the parents have declined placement at Hercules High School.

Parents asked to prioritise children's safety

At Ponelopele High School in Midrand, parents demanded that some teachers they believed were not performing be removed.

A consensus was reached with the community to allow schooling to continue while the department attended to their concerns.

In the Krugersdorp area, the department asked parents to take precautionary measures and prioritise the safety of their children.  

In the meantime, the department would go ahead with its appeal of a court ruling that the Afrikaans medium Hoërskool Overvaal, in Vereeniging, is not legally obliged to take 55 English-speaking pupils.

WATCH: Police van petrol bombed, several arrested on 2nd day of protests at #HoërskoolOvervaal

This school's decision set off a wave of protests last week.

Departmental spokesperson Steve Mabona said Lesufi and Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga met unions, political parties and civil society representatives at the school on Monday.

This followed a meeting with the Gauteng Social Cohesion Champions on Saturday, a group led by retired Judge Yvonne Mokgoro, to help find a solution to the issue.

"The MEC reiterated the decision of the department to appeal the decision of the high court on the matter. In addition, he appealed for calm and for concerns to be directed to his office," said Mabona.

Read more on:    panyaza lesufi  |  johannesburg  |  education  |  protests

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