South Africa: MEC Debbie Schäfer On Violent Protest Action Disrupting Schools

press release

I strongly condemn the violent action that has been taking place in areas of the city, and that has led to concerning disruption of our schools.

Yesterday, the WCED had to close 21 schools in the Lwandle, Nomzamo and Khayelitsha areas. The Happy Valley area has also been affected, and a further 8 schools were either being monitored for closure or were disrupted significantly.

Today there are more reports of disruption.

At many other schools there has been low attendance. In a number of cases, learners attend schools in other areas but were unable to get out of their communities to their schools.

Of course, many of our teachers have also been affected.

We are in contact with our principals to monitor the situation.

Our priority is to ensure the safety of all learners and teachers. At the same time, education is essential and teaching and learning time should NOT be interrupted by people for their own agendas.

Schools have been requested, where safely possible, to remain open.

People have the right to protest peacefully but the violent nature of these recent actions is both concerning and unacceptable. We hope that SAPS will act swiftly and decisively to restore order in these communities so that teaching and learning can resume as soon as possible.

While we condemn any disruption to schooling at any time during the school year the disruption of schooling at this critical time of the year is even more concerning, as a number of assessments and exams are currently being written.

I appeal to any influential community leaders to assist us in ensuring that teaching and learning, and especially the upcoming NSC examinations are not disrupted.

It is high time that people destroying the opportunities of others are held accountable for their thuggish behavior.

Issued by: Western Cape Education

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