MEC promises that children at Schweizer-Reneke primary school will be safe when it reopens

2019-01-16 15:56
Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke is caught in a race row after a photo a teacher took of a Grade 1 class showed black and white learners sitting separately.

Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke is caught in a race row after a photo a teacher took of a Grade 1 class showed black and white learners sitting separately. (Chekwane Tladi)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

North West education MEC Sello Lehari has assured parents concerned about their children's safety at the Schweizer-Reneke primary school where allegations of racism have surfaced that learning will resume fully on Friday morning.

Following heightened tensions at the school, police have been deployed to patrol outside the premises.

"We have put measures in place to monitor the situation and have been informed by the SGB (school governing body) that there are threats to burn the school," Lehari said.

READ: More tension as parents and security guards clash outside Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke

He assured parents that police would remain deployed to ensure that children could come to school without fear.

The measures were put in place after a photograph of black and white Grade R pupils seated separately went viral on social media last week, sparking outrage.

Teacher Elana Barkhuizen, who took the picture, was suspended after the image emerged. Another teacher who allegedly separated the children remains at the school.

On Wednesday a parent asked the MEC for a guarantee that things would go back to normal. They claimed they were intimidated when they brought their children to school.

"The SGB is arranging a meeting where we will address all parents and learners [to ensure them] that their safety is guaranteed," said Lehari.

Pupils, parents to receive counselling

Another parent said the incident at the school was unfortunate as it portrayed white people as racists. He said they felt left out in the entire process as parents.

"We are investigating racism in all schools here in totality. As soon as our investigations are completed we will provide you with the report. We are taking this matter very seriously. We want your co-operation in fixing the situation," said Lehari.

He promised to provide all pupils as well as parents with counselling.

Thabiso Maolwane, whose child was among the four children who were photographed sitting at a separate desk, said he was delighted that the MEC had promised them counselling.

He said he didn't see anything wrong with the picture.

"The school explained to me that the separation was a temporary thing and black children would be reintegrated with white children later.

"I am not happy with the suspension of Elana Barkhuizen because later that day, I saw a different picture where children were mixed together.

"At first I thought my child's rights were violated until I saw the second picture," he said.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    mahikeng  |  racism  |  education
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.