MEC positive of good pass rate

Simon Nare

Simon Nare

After months of disruptions, schooling seemed to be slowly returning to normal in the volatile Khutsong township outside Carletonville.

There had been no learning in the area's schools since early this year when teachers joined the protest against Khutsong's incorporation into the North West.

But last week, pupils and teachers at two of the affected schools were hard at work.

They were trying to catch up in time for the end of the year exams which start in October.

North West education spokesman Charles Raseala said pupils were back at school following a series of meetings in July and this month where South African Communist Party leaders encouraged pupils to go back to class.

Although classes were disrupted again in late July, things seem to have settled down.

Last Wednesday it was business as usual at two of the schools Sowetan visited.

"Schooling has been normal since July 16 when schools re-opened after winter recess. For a week after the re-opening, things were going well. The following week disruptions started again," Raseala said.

He said though it was not clear what sparked those disruptions, they suspected an interview with residents on a radio station could have triggered the protests early this month.

Raseala said the department was confident of a good matric pass rate.

Hundreds of grade 12 pupils were taken to a camp in Taung to catch up.

At the weekend the pupils were officially welcomed to the village by the department of education.

A cow, provided by Kgosi Mankurane of the Batlhaping Ba Taung tribe, was slaughtered for them.

Kgosi Mankurane said it was a token of welcome to the children of Khutsong to his village.

Raseala said parents and relatives who attended the ceremony were ferried in two buses and three minibuses from Khutsong to the camp.

Local education MEC OJ Tselapedi also had an opportunity to meet the pupils and their parents.

The pupils were moved to the camp as the simmering tensions in the township had continued to disrupt their studies.