We will close Klipsruit-West school if situation continues – MEC Lesufi

2017-09-26 14:15
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. (Christopher Moagi, Daily Sun)

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. (Christopher Moagi, Daily Sun)

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Johannesburg - Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says, if the situation at the Klipspruit-West Secondary School continues, he will have no other choice but to close it down. 

"I have reached a stage where I need to take a decision – whether we have a school or we don't have a school. A drastic decision needs to be taken, and I can confirm that it is not going to be a nice decision," Lesufi said during his visit to the school on Tuesday morning. 

Lesufi said the core problem at the school still remained, saying teachers had not reported for duty after their meeting on Monday. 

He said 12 teachers and two general workers had failed to arrive for duty. 

"I will meet with them today and ask them why they never reported for work. We can't continue in an environment like this. Parents have allowed teachers to come back, because normally they stand at the gates and block the entrance."

Security guards and police officers were also present at the school on Tuesday morning.

A few disgruntled parents and community members gathered outside the school. 

Rita Davis, chairperson of the dissolved school governing body, said they were disappointed that the teachers had not reported for work. 

"We are very concerned about it, because we had an agreement with Lesufi yesterday [Monday] to say that the teachers will be back for teaching and learning," Davis said. 

Also read: Klipspruit West SGB dissolved, teaching expected to continue

A parent of a Grade 10 learner at the school, Sharon Smith, said the situation at the school was "saddening". 

"It is affecting the learners, because they cannot focus, and feel demoralised. They don't understand what is happening at the school, but they are trying to learn in the circumstances," Smith said.

'Abusing a learner is not right'

Smith, who matriculated from the school in 1995, said the only way forward was for parents, teachers and the government to discuss and find means to resolve the current issue. 

"If we can have a discussion with everyone around a table, let’s not close down our school, because it has been here for years."

Smith said the abuse that pupils suffered at the hands of teachers, was at the centre of the tensions. She said she had witnessed one of the teachers grab her nephew by the collar and throw him to the ground.   

"The children were crying to the parents, saying they were called 'coloured bastards', or that 'their mother stands with a nightie in the street and she doesn’t wash her bum'. Things like that. Abusing a learner is not right."

Another parent, Nicolene Jooste, said her child had been emotionally and verbally abused by one of the teachers at the school. 

"When is it going to be physical abuse? The department and the MEC have done nothing to that teacher that is injuring children at the school. They are protecting that teacher at the school," she said.  

Jooste, who has three children at the school, said she was waiting for her children to finish exams, and that then she would remove them from the school. 

Read more on:    panyaza lesufi  |  johannesburg  |  education

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