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Parents shut down Kuruman school

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Pupils did not attend classes at Wrenchville Primary School this week following calls to transfer the principal and deputy principal to another school.

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PUPILS did not attend classes at Wrenchville Primary School in Kuruman this week following calls to transfer the principal and deputy principal to another school.

Parents stated that 10 teachers, out of a complement of 20, had resigned due to “unbearable working conditions”, where they were allegedly bullied, intimidated and manipulated.

“Educators are being pressured with unnecessary work, while no replacement educators have been found. As a result, pupils have not had maths and science classes and have fallen behind with their work.”

One parent said she had removed her child from the school.

“There is a grave danger that pupils will fail as they have been without any teachers for the whole term. I had to send my child for extra lessons. She has lost out on a lot of the work and will have to catch up at her new school.”

The district department held a meeting with parents at the school on Monday, where a memorandum was handed over.

Parents are aggrieved that the school is “not transparent“ with regards to its financial reports, while no-school fee parents are expected to purchase sanitiser and 500-ream sheets of typing paper.

“Pupils are stabbing each other and are also bullying the teachers.

“A case was also opened with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration after the contracts of the food handlers were terminated a month before they would have ended.”

Northern Cape Department of Education spokesperson Geoffrey van der Merwe confirmed that schooling was disrupted for the whole week at Wrenchville Primary School.

“Concerned parents closed the school and made it impossible for learners and educators to access the school premises,” said Van der Merwe.

He stated that the district office had made concerted efforts to attend to the demands of parents and to resolve the unrest at the school.

“Several parents submitted a list of concerns to the officials, relating to serious allegations, without any substantive proof being provided to the district office to date.

“A follow-up meeting has been scheduled between the district office and the concerned parents on Friday, where hopefully an amicable solution can be found in order for schooling to return back to normal.”

Van der Merwe appealed to parents and the school community not to deny children their basic right to education and to refrain from unlawful practices.

“These concerns can and should be addressed through appropriate avenues created for such instances.”

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