The road to manhood begins
Strict rules for Koma schools
THE House of Traditional Leaders in Limpopo has issued more than 265 permits for koma schools (initiation schools) set to take place in July ahead of the winter session.
The house yesterday insisted that only children with medical reports showing they are in good health will be eligible to enrol.
The house said this would help ensure the health of all children enrolled at the schools was fine for them to undergo the traditional manhood passage.
Chairman for the Limpopo task team on koma schools, Vusani Netshimbupfe, said the team had also recommended that each boy be accompanied by his parents or relatives when they enrol at the schools.
He stressed that it was important for those running the schools to be aware of the health of each initiate.
Netshimbupfe said all initiates would undergo surgery at the school unless a doctor's medical report recommended otherwise.
"We normally take an initiate to hospital if he does not get well in time or when the surgery had some defects that could be detrimental to the boy's health.
"But we always recommend that only surgeons with good track records be tasked with doing surgery on our boys.
"We also work with the departments of health and social development, which provides us with health inspectors to ensure that our schools are hygienic at all times," said Netshimbupfe, who is also deputy provincial chairman of the house of traditional leaders in the province.
According to Netshimbupfe the house has already issued over 265 permits for initiation schools to run in the five regions of Sekhukhune, Vhembe, Waterberg, Capricorn and Mopani.
He said the koma schools will open on the last week before public schools close for the winter holidays and close a week before they reopen.
"This is to allow our initiates the opportunity to be ready by the time the schools reopen so that no koma graduate bunks classes as a result of the traditional ones."
Last year two boys died out of the many that attended the 314 schools in the province.
Five of the schools were shut down because of appalling conditions and botched surgery. - firstname.lastname@example.org