Pupils swop book work for cinema

Reports by Kamogelo Seekoei

Reports by Kamogelo Seekoei

A month ago the Congress of South African Students in Gauteng organised a pupils' march to the offices of the education department to demand a 20percent increase in their exam marks.

The students demanded the free marks because they claimed they had missed out on a large portion of their work due to the public sector strike in June.

Though the department of education, through its catch-up programme, had organised extra lessons for pupils to make up for time lost, Cosas labelled the programmes a failure.

They demanded that the year-end exams be postponed because they were not ready.

But in the past two weeks students from Johannesburg's Metropolitan College have been spending school time watching movies at a cinema in Market Street in Johannesburg.

They spend Tuesdays at the Good Hope Cinema with their boyfriends and girlfriends instead of preparing for their exams.

The students are attracted by the Tuesday special at the cinema - two movies for just R5.

Metropolitan College's principal was not available for comment and a teacher at the school had only this to say: "I think this is bad publicity for Metropolitan College but there is nothing I can do to stop it."

Masakheni Magadla of Cosas said though the organisation was not aware of the issue, he was disappointed that the owners of the cinema allowed children in school uniform to bunk classes for watching movies.

"This has been the toughest year for pupils, they should be grabbing the opportunity to catch up on time lost, not watching movies," Magadla said.

He said Cosas will consult with other stakeholders including the police to help them deal with the problem.

Kate Bapela from the Gauteng department of education said the pupils visiting the cinema should be taught a tough lesson.