By Thys Khiba – The MEC for Education in the North West province, Mmaphefo Matsemela has opened a case with the South African Police Service (SAPS) against community members who allegedly‘forcefully’ collected their children at Naawpoort Mega Farm School.
This comes after the department decided to accommodate Grade 12 learners of Tirelong Secondary school at Naawpoort Mega Farm School.
“On behalf of the department l would like to condemn the forceful collection of learners and damage to school property. As the department we have assured parents that their children were safe,” said Matsemela.
According to the departmental spokesperson, Elias Malindi, they have received a report that on Sunday, 16 January 2022 community members came to the school at 21:00 in 4 Quantums, 1 truck and 2 motor cars to forcefully collect their children.
Up to this point it is unclear whether the security guards were overpowered by the community members or not.
“The security company reported that members of the community arrived at school and they broke the gate lock and pushed the gate to the ground. It is reported that they arrived in numbers, they were singing and chased the security away at night,” said Malindi.
Matsemela said that it is concerning to see elders ‘gambling’ with the future of learners.
“We are really concerned to see adults gambling with the future of learners. Almost 56 out 74 learners have been taken away from the school. These community members are violating the learner’s right to education which is enshrined by the constitution. They take learners even though parents have signed concerned forms. Again why do they take children at night”, said MEC Matsemela.
Malindi confirmed there are other 18 learners who refused to leave with the community members.
“The 18 learners indicated that they wanted to study without any disturbance. The department pleads with parents not to deny learners a chance to study,” said Malindi.
Malindi confirmed the school has psycho-social support services, in case if one of the learners needs a psychosocial support.
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