School's overcrowding problem resolved - for now
THE parents of Grade 11 and 12 pupils at Umyezo Wama Apile Combined School in Grabouw have finally agreed to the Western Cape department of education's plan to move the pupils to the Cape Town facility in a bid to resolve overcrowding at the school.
Last week, parents had mixed reactions to the proposal by the department, which will see their children going to school about 50km away for the next three months.
The Overberg town has been tense since a protest over overcrowding of the school turned into racial clashes.
The department plans to erect a temporary facility in Grabouw to house extra pupils, but parents and community leaders have been opposing the plan.
At the centre of the conflict is the choice of the site where the department had sought to build the temporary facility.
Yesterday, Bronagh Casey, spokeswoman for education MEC Donald Grant, said they had successfully persuaded the parents and pupils to opt for Cape Teaching and Leadership Institute in Kuils River, Cape Town.
Classes resumed yesterday.
Casey said the venue had comfortable sleeping accommodation, 24-hour security and sports and recreational facilities.
Pupils will also be provided with three meals a day.
Three teachers from Umyezo Wama Apile Combined School will also be joining the teaching staff at Cape Teaching and Leadership Institute.
Casey said the department had also appointed a principal to run the Kuils River facility.
In the meantime, the department will continue to develop the temporary mobile satellite site into classrooms.
A review of two sites is due to be completed this week, with construction on the new site set to begin as soon aspossible.
Casey added that they were thankful to parents and the school community for their cooperation.
"Overcrowding at the school has been a challenge for us," she said.
"More specifically, the acquisition of land on which to build a temporary or permanent school has been difficult."
She said their efforts to obtain land to build a new permanent school wouldcontinue.