PE schools remain closed
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