A group of matric pupils from Ndaliso Senior Secondary School in the Eastern Cape have gone on the rampage, burning down the school's administration block, demanding that they be given new Grade 11 report cards showing they've passed all subjects.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Eastern Cape department of education's acting head of department Ray Tywakadi called for calm following the protest in which the deputy principal of the school was assaulted by pupils.
"The burning of the administration block follows a protest by the school's Grade 12 progressed learners who were demanding to write all the subjects despite the advice from the department to write some this year and the remainder of them next year as they are part of the multiple examination opportunity candidates," said department spokesperson Mali Mtima.
The pupils started protesting on Tuesday, which resulted in 350 pupils failing to write English first additional language paper one.
"All the efforts were made to convince them but in vain."
Police called to monitor the situation
Mtima added that the pupils have demanded that they be allowed to write all seven subjects and that their Grade 11 report cards reflect they passed all their subjects in 2017 despite having failed.
He said that the department had a meeting with the pupils, where some agreed to write the rest of their examinations, while the others "remained hellbent not to write".
Police have been called to monitor the tense situation at the school as protests continue.
"Police have been called to ensure state property, educators and learners are protected from these vicious attacks by protesters," said Mtima.
Police spokesperson Nozuko Handile confirmed the protests, adding that a case of arson had been opened, and no arrests had been made so far.