Bronkhorstspruit parents demand English school

McKeed Kotlolo

McKeed Kotlolo

Scores of Bronkhorstspruit residents marched to the local primary school in demand of an English-medium primary school they were promised more than a decade ago.

The protesters, mainly parents, including numerous local professionals, marched to the Bronkhorstspruit Primary School, the only English-medium primary school currently in the offices belonging to the local municipality.

At the beginning of each academic year the school threatens not to accommodate new children because of the extreme overcrowding.

In an attempt to eliminate it, the school has acquired two more temporary accommodation blocks, and both of them are already overcrowded. Parents seeking to enrol their children in the school next year were reportedly put on hold.

The school is also short-staffed because the Gauteng department of education claims it has no funds to employ more English teachers.

Led by Simon Mahlangu the group submitted a memorandum to the Hilda Kekana of Gauteng department of education.

The parents criticised the department for continuously making empty promises about the provision of a properly staffed English- medium school.

"We have been receiving empty promises from the time of Mary Metcalfe, then came Jacobs and now its Angie Motshekga. Who should we trust and where is transformation here?" asked local soccer official Mazolman Mahlangu.

Others told Sowetan they were promised aproper primary school while their children were still in crèche and were now either at tertiary level or had completed their studies.

Before handing over the memorandum, Mahlangu described their demand as very reasonable.

"We are not asking for something other than accommodation for our children."

They demanded, among other things, the immediate delivery of 10 mobile classrooms.

If their demands were not met, they said there would be no schooling next year.

They also want the establishment of a proper school building by April next year and a response within seven days.

The incident-free protest ended shortly after the education officials promised to immediately forward their memorandum to the office of the MEC.