Kids denied right to education

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

A pupil who was threatened with violence when he reported for class at a school in Wedela, Carletonville, is still out in the cold.

Sibusiso Nkala, of the trouble-torn Khutsong on the West Rand, had to be escorted by police last week when pupils at Wedela Technical High School protested against his admission to their school.

Education in Khutsong was brought to a halt because of the continued protests against the area's incorporation into North West from Gauteng.

Nkala, 17, was then forced to find a school at the nearby Wedela.

"We will do all we can to help the boy to find an alternative school," said North West Education Department spokesman Charles Raseala.

Raseala said the department has learnt that there were three teachers who incited pupils to reject Nkala.

Raesala said a decision was still to be made about investigating the matter.

Sibusiso Kula, president of the representatives council of learners in Khutsong, said pupils want to go back to school, but they are intimidated.

"We support the campaign against the incorporation of our municipality into North West, but that should not affect schooling," he said.

Kula said the problem was that some of the leaders were using the demarcation issue to score political points at the expense of students.

"If you say something negative about schooling you become the darling of the community. But if you say something positive, you become the target."

He said youth were loitering in the streets because they do not have anything to do.

"It is sad to see children blocking the streets. To them it has become a game," said Kula.

Khutsong pupils have not been in class for two months because of the protest.