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Concern over safety of school pupils

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Education department has allowed city principals to use their discretion when it comes to the safety of pupils and whether schools should be closed

Protesters in Roodepan. Picture: Danie van der Lith

ALTHOUGH several schools were affected by Thursday’s protest action, those in Homestead and Colville remained open. Schools in Roodepan, Homevale and Homelite Extension were closed.

According to the Northern Cape Department of Education, parents raised concerns about the safety of their children after learning that the protests were spreading.

The department indicated that there was no need for a memorandum to be sent to any school or to engage with the principals in this regard as there was no danger.

Department spokesperson Lehuma Ntuane indicated that the department has allowed the principals to use their discretion when it comes to the safety of the children.

He said the protests were not rife in some areas thus they had left it to the principals to decide.

He added that consideration had to be given to parents who do not have transport and are expected to collect their children on short notice.

“A principal must consider that a child’s safety is of paramount importance,” said Ntuane. “It must be in the best interest of the child. Children are safer at school as long as the protest does not involve the school.”