Parents shut down Soweto school on opening day

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  • Pupils said that toilets were overflowing with sewage, insufficient desks with as many as three children sharing one desk in a classroom...
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Parents and members of the governing body have shut down the Job Rathebe Junior Secondary School in Orlando East, Soweto as pupils returned to schools across the country for the third term.

The Job Rathebe school governing body is calling for intervention from Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi after claiming that the Soweto school has been suffering with an absent principal and teaching and learning under inhumane conditions.

The Orlando parents have threatened that no learning and teaching will take place until the Department of Education sent officials to address them on the situation.

Pupils who attended school this morning, told ENCA that the conditions of the school were terribly dilapidated. Pupils said that toilets were overflowing with sewage, insufficient desks with as many as three children sharing one desk in a classroom.

SGB treasurer Myson Shongwe told the news agency that parents have mandated them to shut down the school until department officials attend to their grievances.

He said the school principal has been attending school “in drips and drabs” since last year. Shongwe also accused the principal of having sole access to the school funds.

He said the SGB and parents decided to sacrifice this week of school to make sure their grievances were heard as they did not want to disturb the school examinations at the end of last term.

Brenda Mjiyako from the neighbourhood watch also told ENCA that the grievances were brought to them, including incidents of violence in the school.

“Some of them bring knives and all sorts of things to school. Some bring dagga. All the incidents we had, we visited the school but the principal was never here. She runs the school from home,” Mjiyako said.

Newzroom Afrika reports that a pupil at the Job Rathebe Junior Secondary School has been detained by law enforcement after the pupil was found in possession of a firearm.

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