Parents battle to keep Cape Town's Uitsig High School open - Ehrenreich

2017-01-18 20:09
Cosatu's Tony Ehrenreich (Die Burger)

Cosatu's Tony Ehrenreich (Die Burger)

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Cape Town - The families of the remaining 200 pupils at Cape Town's Uitsig High School are determined to get the school fixed and up and running again, Cosatu Western Cape chairperson Tony Ehrenreich said on Wednesday.

"It is hard for children to walk into other areas because of gangsterism and crime," said Ehrenreich, who has thrown his weight behind efforts to keep the high school open after the Western Cape Department of Education declared it unsafe.

After being notified by the department that it would be a violation of human rights to allow pupils and staff to continue learning and working there, because of relentless vandalism, Ehrenreich said parents had decided to start doing some repairs themselves.

A plumber was privately arranged by the group to get water running again on Wednesday.

"It took two hours to get the water restored," said Ehrenreich. "It shows that, if there is a will, it can be done."

However, the department has indicated that the school must close because it is in such a serious state of disrepair. It said not even security guards could stop thieves carrying it off "brick by brick".

READ: Fate of Cape Town's Uitsig High in the balance again

No-fee school

Education spokesperson Jessica Shelver said the guards that were posted at the school had been stoned and threatened.

But Ehrenreich said there were 200 pupils left at the school, across the grades, and that their families were determined to keep it open, not only because they don't want their children walking in unsafe places, but because it is a no-fee school.

Pupils have been transferring to Ravensmead High School at the department's recommendation.

Ehrenreich said teachers were still present at the school, although this could not be independently confirmed, and that classes would continue on Thursday.

Further comment from the department was not immediately available.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  tony ehrenreich  |  cape town  |  education

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