South Africa: Learners Get 'Cold Reception' After 260km Walk for Better Education


'We had to tell the kids at the end of the walk that there will likely be no positive changes in the new year,' said the organiser of the walk, John Lombardo.

After walking 260km from Port Elizabeth to Bhisho to protest against low-quality teaching in township schools, teachers and 14 schoolchildren representing 14 no-fee schools in Nelson Mandela Bay say they feel their complaints were not heard - and that instead of change there will be reprisal for what they have done when schools resume in 2020.

The organiser of the walk and director of New York-based ArtWorks for Youth, John Lombardo, said they were accused of lying by the Eastern Cape education department.

"You can Google any of the demands the children presented to the department and you will find dozens of news stories written about it. I don't know how they can say that it is not the truth."

He said the children were made to wait for two hours by the department, and then only four of them were allowed to speak.

The children also wrote a series of essays detailing the abuse, absence of teachers, dirty toilets and lack of handbooks they were struggling with...

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