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Classes 'under trees' illegal

By Report by Frank Maponya, Limpopo Bureau Chief | May 30, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 44 ]

Hopes of 165 children dashed as government insists it will recognise school only next year

RESIDENTS of Silvermine village and the Limpopo department of education are at loggerheads over the running of a school in the village.

The department is now threatening legal action against the community, arguing that the school is illegal.

Department spokesman Pat Kgomo said it was illegal for the community to run a school without permission.

"It is illegal to operate a school without approval by the department. For a school to be conducted there needs to be proper facilities such as sanitation, water and buildings for the safety of the pupils," Kgomo said.

But the community insists on having a local school, for the sake of their children's safety.

They claim two girls were nearly raped on their way to school at the nearby Kgwale village last year.

They established Selowe Primary school in January this year to accommodate local pupils who used to attend school in two neighbouring villages. The school is run by volunteer teachers.

The parents claim that their children were vulnerable to criminals as they walked long distances through the bushes to neighbouring villages.

The department had abruptly terminated the contract for scholar transport in April last year, thereby leaving the poor pupils in the lurch.

Kgomo said yesterday that they were prepared to provide transport to the pupils "any time".

However, the community has rejected the department's offer of scholar transport.

"It is better for our children to learn where they are safe than for them to be vulnerable to criminals," said Phineas Mogale, whose four children attend the school.

Mogale also volunteers at the school as a cleaner.

Local headman Manas Morudu supported the parents' call for a school to be set up in the village, saying the issue of transport to other schools was a "waste of resources".

The department has also announced that the process to register Selowe Primary School was under way. The name of the school has already been accepted.

TEACHERS QUALIFICATIONS; SUPPORT FROM PARENTS

Selowe Primary School in Silvermine village near Senwabarwana (formerly Bochum) was established in January this year.

The school has 165 pupils, 14 teachers - including the principal - and eight "classrooms".

Seven of the classes from grades 1 to 7 are conducted under trees, while a single shack erected by the community accommodates only Grade R pupils.

Of the 14 teachers, only two have relevant qualifications to teach the children.

Evan Seanego, the school's principal, is only in possession of a matric certificate.

Before taking up the position, he worked as a security guard in Gauteng.

All teachers work on a voluntary basis.

The provincial department of education is adamant the school is operating illegally and that due processes need to be followed until the school receives proper recognition.

Selowe Primary is without proper infrastructure such as buildings, desks, chairs, textbooks, toilets and water.

Teachers have to carry water in containers to share with pupils. Both pupils and teachers relieve themselves in the bushes.

Pupils' parents clean the school premises in the mornings.

Josephine Mokgotho, 40, using a hoe and carrying a baby on her back, said they were cleaning the yard for the safety of their children.

"An unclean environment would pose health risks for our children, so we decided to voluntarily clean the school yard," she said.

- frankm@sowetan.co.za

COMMENTS [ 44 ]

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"It is illegal to operate a school without approval by the department. For a school to be conducted there needs to be proper facilities such as sanitation, water and buildings for the safety of the pupils," Kgomo said.

brain washed, what a lip service. you failed to provide ligal school with books what are you tell us, close your flesh bag.

May 31, 2012 3:29 | 0 replies

Whilst the anc leaders can ONLY debate about zuma's penis and cry over it our children are studying under the trees? 18yrs into power sies anc!!!!

May 30, 2012 3:5 | 0 replies

im fed up wth this ANC-ran government.after 18 years!fu#k man.the only provinces that they develop are Gauteng,KZN n WC.bullsh!t.it's high time we march to the presidential offices about S. delivery.there should b a change in policies to protect our tax money,but instead of implementing they are sitting on our xpensive chairs scratching their balls.emty-headed twits

May 30, 2012 3:2 | 0 replies

match=march ......@Mporoz,it might be significant to you,but I don't see my see myself toi toying on some painting, preference, I guess...

May 30, 2012 2:59 | 0 replies

Now those who were marching yesterday for the "Spear" let them march for the future of these kids.....
oh ya those who were marching are not learned, they wont know whats happening!!!!!!

May 30, 2012 2:56 | 0 replies

Now this is unaccepteble, but dont confuse this with the march it was also of great importance!

May 30, 2012 2:55 | 0 replies

Whiles we have too important things that needs serious attention to be attended like the future of our young South African's, so called masses of SA decide to march for genetile pic.I guess we still have to see marches on poor education system, poor perfomance of ministers,etc(refering to only good sense making things) as that has never happened.

May 30, 2012 2:50 | 0 replies

@ Punkies...No need to say more....
@Mr Pat Kgomo....Before you utter any word about what is illegal or not illegal, tell me something...
"What about the poor children??"

May 30, 2012 2:49 | 0 replies

I don't have a problem with the principal with a matric certificate and security,clearly someone had to AVAIL themself for the job..i give probes to this guy, meanwhile somewhere in Gauteng there's a match on some "spear painting"

May 30, 2012 2:42 | 0 replies

Hayi maan,kanthe ke eng yanong moo? Why did you terminate the contract for scholar transport wena Mr Kgomo?You and friends are cows really..then today you come and stand infront of us and telling us that you are prepared to provide the transport? Aowaaaa maan...come on Cows,you guys are disgrace wa itse,education of the country MUST be the top priority maan....tjerrrrrrr....

May 30, 2012 2:40 | 0 replies

@Simonburgers this is such a shame that the one king of a certain tribe receives millions just for laying around producing children, whilst majority children in SA study under trees like we were in the stone age, if I knew how to use witchcraft this is the one time I wld like to bewitch all of the so called leaders in this country.

May 30, 2012 3:7 | 0 replies