MEC warns KZN school late-comers

2012-03-01 21:06

Pietermaritzburg - KwaZulu-Natal schools will be instructed to continue locking out latecomers, Education MEC Senzo Mchunu said on Thursday.

"Principals will get into trouble with the department if they fail to follow such an instruction of locking the gates once classes have started," Mchunu told the education portfolio committee in the provincial legislature.

He said the department was willing to engage in discussions but would not compromise on its stance on late-coming.

Tardy pupils would not be allowed to enter schools, even at break time, and would be instructed to go home.

Late-coming and pupils loitering outside school premises were part of the rot that had been allowed to accumulate over the years, Mchunu said.

Loiterers exposed themselves to dangers, including rape and stabbing, and was one of the root causes of poor year-end results.

"Let us take this as a fight to clean up our streets and we appeal to all community members and structures to help in doing this," he said.

Some committee members expressed concern that the move could put the department at loggerheads with children’s rights activists.

This was because locking pupils out of school could be viewed as an infringement on children's constitutional rights.

Mchunu downplayed this prospect, saying anyone with an interest in their child’s education would support the clampdown.

  • Debbi - 2012-03-01 22:13

    What if you have a genuine reason eg. buses which are most unreliable, a flat tyre etc... Can't blame that on the children if they are making an effort.

      Michael - 2012-03-01 22:58

      @Debbi funny that people like you jump to blame schools and education department when poor results reflects end of year, and forget there were excuses of flat tyres and all nonsenses you name. I've been taking my kids to school for more than 10 years and they, including all other 700 kids never arrive late to school. Why should it be the case of 50% chronic late coming at public schools?

      Themba - 2012-03-02 07:02

      @Debbi, I think I hear your point. @Michael, do you children have to go to school in public transport? Are you relying on the transport provided by the department of Education for needy learners that stay far from their schools? Do you have to drive through dirt roads or tar roads with broken beer bottles and nails which are thrown around recklessly? Get me right, I am not condoning late coming, I am just saying that, sometimes it is due to circumstances beyond our control.

  • oddearring - 2012-03-02 06:52

    and Mr Mchunu, please tell me, when last were you on time for a meeting? KZN goverment officials are notorious for being late for everything so look to yourself first.

  • Themba - 2012-03-02 07:06

    This is a good but dangerous move by the MEC. In some families, both father and mother have to work, and given the security status of our country, have to leave the home locked. Where does a ten year old child go whilst waiting for the parents to come back from work at 15:00? Why not find a way of getting parents involved in this vendetta of re-cultivating the culture of learning in South Africa?

  • Tk Zama - 2013-06-05 09:47

    The pupils are wrong for being late, but the MEC sees nothing wrong on his department with the teachers still using corporal punishment even though it has been illegal for so many news. He needs to put a clamp down on principles to be strict on their staff and this will move down the chain to the learners.

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