'Handful of pupils disruptive'

Kamogelo Seekoei

Kamogelo Seekoei

Many pupils in troubled Khutsong township want schooling to resume and told Sowetan they yearn to return to the classroom before it is too late.

Those who dared to be interviewed yesterday expressed the same sentiments.

With sadness etched on her face, a Grade 12 pupil at Relebogile Secondary School told a heart-rending tale of how she religiously wakes up to go to school every morning, only to return home without even entering a classroom because of the violence.

"The only thing we do is organise ourselves into study groups and fetch reading material."

She said they meet regularly at the local library because their school is a war zone.

The girl - who may not be named for fear of reprisals - said education was important to them hence they went the extra mile to learn.

She said most of her colleagues wanted to return to school. She added that only a handful of pupils disrupted learning in Khutsong.

"Many of those who disrupt classes failed Grade 11 last year and left school. They are now ruining things for everyone," she said.

The Grade 12 pupil said they did not have the power to stop the riots because "most of the perpetrators are strong boys while many of us are girls".

"I don't care whether I am in North West or Gauteng, I just want to learn," said the girl who wants to study chemical engineering.

Another Relebogile pupil said he had already lost hope. He would register at another school outside Khutsong next year.

The Grade 10 pupil said: "It is hopeless to continue, pupils stand in the sun . I just want this thing to end because I want to attend school like a normal person," he said.

A militant pupil said they were not going to stop resisting until government heeded their demand.

"We want to go to school but do not want to see a North West letterhead here. If the government says we should wait for the constitutional court process to end, why are they bombarding us with stationery bearing North West letterheads at our school?"