'Schooling will return to normal in Khutsong'

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

North West education authorities are confident that normal schooling will take place in Khutsong this year.

Pupils from the turbulent township lost more than six months of schooling last year because of protests against the incorporation of the Merafong municipality into North West from Gauteng.

Education department spokesman Charles Raseala said the department would do everything in its power to uphold the culture of learning in Khutsong.

"We have no reason to suspect that things will not work this year. The Merafong Demarcation Forum (MDF), parents and pupils assured us at a meeting on Thursday that there will be normal schooling this year," he said.

Raseala said the community even offered to help municipal workers in cleaning up the schools to prepare for a smooth start to schooling.

Pupils boycotted classes in April last year to support the community in their bid to resist incorporation into North West.

In June, they did not write mid-year exams because of class disruptions.

In August the department shipped more than 400 of the 475 registered matriculants to a camp in Taung to prepare for exams.

Raseala said the camp paid off beyond their expectations.

"We got 11 distinctions in maths which means more engineers, scientists and medical doctors," he said.

MDF secretary Kgapa Mabusela said they were working hard to normalise the situation.

"At Thursday's meeting with the department we raised some issues that need to be addressed and we hope the department will attend to them speedily for the sake of proper learning," he said.

Mabusela said one of the issues was the outstanding results of some pupils.

"It is up to the department to finalise the matter before school starts to avoid any disruptions."

North West Sadtu chairman Mxolisi Bomvana said: "We expect pupils and teachers to report to school on time so that normal schooling can take place".

"We hope the situation will be calm this year to avoid the disruptions that marred schooling last year."

He said the problem in Khutsong was political and needed to be resolved politically.