My boy tried to kill him­self – mother

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - NORMA WILDENBOER STAFF RE­PORTER

A Ten-year-old pupil from a pri­mary school in Kim­ber­ley has at­tempted to com­mit sui­cide af­ter fail­ing his grade dur­ing 2018.

The ten-year-old boy’s mother yes­ter­day opted to keep him at home in­stead of al­low­ing him to re­turn to school, af­ter the child at­tempted to com­mit sui­cide by drink­ing pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tion, as well as jump­ing in front of a train.

He failed Grade 3 last year.

The boy was also forced to re­peat grade R, at the same school.

His mother yes­ter­day said that she had tried in vain to in­ter­act with the North­ern Cape De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion about a pos­si­ble pro­mo­tion for her son, claim­ing that she was in­stead ig­nored and shunned, be­ing sent from pil­lar to post.

She yes­ter­day said that her son lost his fa­ther dur­ing 2018, and had since be­come ex­tremely de­pressed, while he also at­tempted to take his own life af­ter hear­ing that he failed Grade 3.

“Not only did I find my son af­ter he had taken some of my pre­scrip­tion medicine, but I found him on the train tracks in Kim­ber­ley, close to our home, where I be­lieve he was also about to com­mit sui­cide,” the wo­man said.

The mother said she yes­ter­day de­cided to place the boy in a new school, af­ter he was deemed “not aca­dem­i­cally fit to con­tinue to Grade 4” and the school re­fused to con­sider the fact that his fa­ther had died last year and the emo­tional ef­fect this had on the child.

“I had to pay a large amount of money at the new school but I could not stand hav­ing him ridiculed and laughed at by other pupils. He is al­ready sui­ci­dal and I do not know what would have hap­pened if he was forced to re­peat Grade 3, af­ter also hav­ing to re­peat Grade R at the same school.

NCDOE spokesper­son, Le­huma Ntu­ane, yes­ter­day stated that in terms of the na­tional pol­icy on pro­mo­tion re­quire­ment, a pupil may re­main in a phase for at least four years if such a pupil does not meet the min­i­mum re­quire­ments for pro­mo­tion to the next phase. The min­i­mum re­quire­ment that a learner must meet in Grades 1 for 3 (foun­da­tion phase) are: ad­e­quate achieve­ment (Level 4) in one of­fi­cial lan­guage at Home Lan­guage level, mod­er­ate achieve­ment (Level 3) in the se­cond re­quired of­fi­cial lan­guage at First Ad­di­tional Lan­guage level and mod­er­ate achieve­ment (Level 3) in Math­e­mat­ics.

Ntu­ane did, how­ever, add that the NCDOE was still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mat­ter of the con­cerned pupil and that a de­tailed re­sponse would be made avail­able in due course.

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