Parents refuse to send kids to roofless primary school
Angry parents in Graskop, Mpumalanga, have vowed to disrupt classes at the local primary school until it is roofed.
The parents said they were protesting to force the Mpumalanga Education Department to repair the roof of a block of classrooms at Gloryhill Primary School. They said the roof was destroyed in a storm in August.
According to the parents, they took action only after a community meeting resolved that their children would not attend classes at the school until the department fixed the roof.
Protesting parents and pupils arrived at the school yesterday morning carrying placards reading: "Enough is enough" and "No roof, no schooling".
Officials from the provincial Education Department were called in to negotiate with the angry parents.
"The building of this school shows that the Department of Education is concerned about your welfare," said one of the education officials, who identified himself only as Mdaka.
"Remember where we come from. In the past our children were learning in makeshift classrooms, but today they are taught under proper structures.
"We acknowledge that there is problem. But sorting it out is a long process."
Another official, identified only as Mowale, told parents that no money was available for the repairs.
A parent, Elliot Nyakane, accused the department of lying.
"We thank the department for lying to us. If you were honest, you would call a contractor to roof the school today because you are aware that Graskop is a rainy area," Nyakane said.
Ann Dennison, another parent, said the department had promised to fix the roof during the December school holidays.
"We were shocked to find the school was still without a roof when we brought our children this year," said Dennison.