From mountains to classrooms

A circumcision school owner has joined the Limpopo department of education in calling on koma school graduates to report back to formal schools today.

Norman Tshwale, whose koma school had 903 initiates this winter, told more than 3000 parents at Mpepule village on Saturday that education was the light for the future.

His school, which had the biggest enrolment in the province, reported neither deaths nor botched operations.

His call comes after a report from the House of Traditional Leaders and parents that children who graduated from koma schools often bunked classes during the first and second week of schooling.

A parent, Mmangoako Seshoka, said children often indulged in drugs and sexual experiments after graduation.

Limpopo Koma Task Team chairman Vusani Netshimbupfe said koma schools normally open a week before formal school holidays and close a week before reopening.

"This is to allow children who enrol at our traditional schools a chance to go back when formal schools reopen."

Speaking to initiates during the graduation, Tshwale, who is also an induna, said koma schools were places where young boys and girls are prepared to be leaders, not followers, and are groomed to stand on their own without help from their parents.

"These are places where initiates are taught about their tradition, culture and humanity and how to preserve it," Tshwale said.

Education department spokesperson Ndo Mangala said the department expected all pupils to report for school today.