Parents protest outside Western Cape legislature demanding school be built
By Sisonke Mlamla 19h ago
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Cape Town – Parents from Forest Village in Eerste River protested outside the provincial legislature on Wednesday, demanding the government urgently build a school for their learners.
Community activist and ANC MPL Andile Lili, said the provincial government should build a school for the learners on the open grounds as they failed to make provision for schooling when developing a housing project in the area.
Lili said more than 500 primary school pupils in the area were still learning under trees at the illegal Empumelelweni School, and were being taught by volunteer teachers.
One of the parents, Nolizwe Ndikandika, said: “It is not by choice that the school was formed, but because we can’t afford to pay for transport.
“The schools in the area are full and all we are asking for is a school that will cater to the needs of the newly formed community,” she said.
Western Cape Education Department (WCED) chief director of Districts, Alan Meyer, who addressed the community members said that there were more unplaced learners under the trees Forest Village than the 210 names that had been given to the department.
Meyer, asked for the names to be provided to the department by (today) so that they could assist with placement.
Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said the WCED has been contacting parents over the past week to make offers of placement. She said half of the learners have already been placed at schools.
Schäfer said the department was still struggling to contact some of the parents of the remaining learners, who have provided incorrect contact numbers or whose phones go to voicemail.
"We urge the parents of those learners to contact their district to take up the placement offers. We are working hard to place the remaining learners in our province that are still not placed," said Schäfer.
She said the number has reduced from 13 800 at the beginning of the year to 4188.
"Obviously this remains a concern for us that they are still not in a school."
Schäfer said they have been able to appoint some additional teachers in areas where demand for places was growing quickly, which allowed the department to place over 1 000 learners in the past week.