Parents plan to take state to court over school move

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

More than 400 pupils from Dithomo Primary School in Ekurhuleni have not attended classes since the Easter holidays because parents do not want them to be moved to another school.

The parents said they are angry because the Gauteng Department of Education did not consult them about the planned move.

Though the parents claim they were not consulted about the move, the department said that this was not the case.

Kate Bapela, a spokesman for provincial Department of Education, said the department had been in talks with the pupils' parents about the move since last year.

"The latest meeting with the parents was on March 7," said Bapela.

Dithomo Primary School pupils have been moved from their school to merge with two local primary schools, Kutloanong and Polokegong.

The Dithomo pupils are being moved from their school to give way to students from PT Xulu High School.

Xulu pupils were moved from their school after it was said to be built on dangerous land.

The school's ground is dolomite.

This week desks and other furniture from PT Xulu were delivered under police escort to Dithomo Primary School.

Lebohang Mohapi, the secretary of the Dithomo Primary School governing body, said parents of the Dithomo pupils were considering taking legal action to stop the move.

"We are not going to take this lying down," said Mohapi.

"Most of the pupils are from poor families and they cannot afford the R3,50 taxi fare to go to the two schools they have been moved to."

She said the parents were also concerned about the safety of their children. This after a pupil was knocked down by a vehicle while walking to the new school.

Another parent, Maki Mokoena, said: "We are worried about the education of the children, but what can we do?"

Bapela said the department decided to merge Dithomo with Kutloanong and Polokegong because Dithomo had a smaller number of pupils.

"They have 498 pupils, and Kutloanong has 998 pupils."

Bapela also expressed her concerns about lost teaching time.

"The department is concerned because the June examinations are approaching and the children are not being taught."

Bapela said she was also worried that the teachers from Dithomo had no one to teach after this new turn of events.