Investigation launched after pupils turned away from exams for wearing wrong school shoes


Two primary school pupils, aged 10 and 12, who were turned away from their school for not wearing the correct shoes, have returned to write the exams they missed out on. 

The two brothers were sent home early on Wednesday.

However, Gauteng Department of Education spokesperson Steve Mabona said a Good Samaritan had donated shoes to them. 

"A Good Samaritan who didn't want to be named has today donated shoes to the learners," he added. 

The department has since written a letter to the principal requesting her to provide reasons why she should not be transferred as a precautionary measure.

On Thursday, IOL published an article detailing the events that led to the incident, saying the pupils' mother could not afford to buy new school shoes for them.

The publication quoted the unemployed mother as saying: "I was surprised to see my kids home so early that day. When they told me what happened I was hurt because it's not like I don't want them to wear school shoes, but I don't have the money to buy them."

It added the principal, Mpho Ndwambi, had claimed the mother "doesn't care about the kids".

"She doesn't look after them. They come to school looking untidy. All I tried to do was to force the mother to look after her kids. She gets a social grant for the kids, but doesn't look after them," Ndwambi said.

The department has launched an investigation into the incident as well as the family involved.

"The department has already interacted with the family to send the children back to school, whether they have the uniform or not - that is immaterial.

"It is paramount that those learners must be allowed back at school accordingly. We wish to confirm that the learners will be given an opportunity to write their examinations from Tuesday," Mabona said.

He added the investigation would allow the department to take the necessary disciplinary action "against anyone who might have played a role in allegedly expelling the learners from school".

"This behaviour cannot be tolerated in our schooling environment which must always be conducive for teaching and learning.

"It is regrettable and unfortunate that children can be subjected to such an uncalled for action allegedly by a school that is meant to teach, nurture, and protect them."

Mabona said the department would not hesitate to take action against "ill-discipline by educators".

"The department takes matters of ill-discipline by educators and all forms of misconduct in a very serious light and will not hesitate to act accordingly," he said.

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