Failed pupils on rampage

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

A row over the controversial "pass one pass all" concept erupted at Nthuba High School in the Ga-Matlala area near Polokwane yesterday.

Lessons came to a complete halt when about 1000 pupils demanded promotion to the next grades.

Their demands come after only five of 168 pupils passed Grade 11 at the end of last year.

News that their classmates had passed did not go down well with the other students.

Allegations of favouritism and sexual favours from female pupils who managed to pass, emerged.

To demonstrate their anger, the pupils chased teachers from classrooms during lessons chanted the "pass one pass all" slogan.

Others chanted anti-learning songs around the school, sending teachers and other pupils running for cover into the staff room.

Some pupils allegedly hurled stones and smashed classroom windows.

Police were called to the school and found the situation volatile. But the presence of the police did not seem to deter the incensed pupils.

"We are not going to classes until our problem is solved," said a student.

Speaking on behalf of the pupils, Grade 11 student, Shirley Matlala said the school management had promised parents during a meeting recently that they would condone all pupils.

Provincial spokesman for the education department, Ndo Mangala, said it was not possible for students to be promoted to the next grade when they have failed.

"But we believe the department will find ways of bringing the school back to normal during a meeting to be held today," said Mangala.