PE schools re­main closed

CityPress - - News -

against the depart­ment for their in­ac­tion in re­open­ing the schools, and to deal with their of­fi­cials.” Martin said ac­cess to free ba­sic and qual­ity education was a top pri­or­ity for the ANC, and the sit­u­a­tion in north­ern ar­eas com­pro­mised this very prin­ci­ple.

Po­lice spokesper­son Priscilla Naidu con­firmed Gel­van­dale po­lice were in­ves­ti­gat­ing a case of in­tim­i­da­tion against the depart­ment. She said the schools had been closed since Mon­day. “Po­lice are mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion; the schools are still closed. We do not want any­one to get harmed. Ex­tra po­lice have been de­ployed just for the sit­u­a­tion there with the schools,” said Naidu.

Teacher short­ages in the north­ern ar­eas have been a per­sis­tent prob­lem for at least five years.

Richard Draai, sec­re­tary of the North­ern Ar­eas Education Fo­rum (NAEF), said the com­mu­nity no longer trusted the education depart­ment.

“Par­ents have de­cided to keep their chil­dren at home be­cause of the prom­ises that were not forth­com­ing from the depart­ment for five years and more. Ev­ery year you sit with the same prob­lem, so the peo­ple do not trust the depart­ment. That is the big­gest chal­lenge we have,” said Draai.

He hoped on­go­ing dis­cus­sions be­tween the NAEF, Nelson Man­dela Bay mayor Danny Jor­daan and East­ern Cape premier Phu­mulo Ma­su­alle would help. He could not say when chil­dren would re­turn to school.

“I have an 11-year-old daugh­ter who goes to school in

Chris­tian

Martin

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