Lesufi vows to shut Eldorado Park school if classes don't resume on Monday

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has threatened to close Freedom Park Secondary School if teachers and pupils are not back on Monday.
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has threatened to close Freedom Park Secondary School if teachers and pupils are not back on Monday.
Image: Gallo Images / Foto24 / Theana Breugem

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has promised to shut down Freedom Park Secondary School in Eldorado Park if normal schooling does not resume on Monday.

Lesufi visited the school on Friday, where four pupils were arrested earlier in the week for attacking police as they conducted a search for weapons and drugs.

Provincial education department spokesperson Steve Mabona said that Lesufi met parents and student representatives.

"Unfortunately, all teachers reported at the district office and some learners insisted on going to court to support the arrested learners," said Mabona. "All learners and teachers are expected to be at school on Monday, failing which, the MEC will officially close the school."

Lesufi issued a strong message that no one had the right to disrupt education.

He highlighted that since the school was opened, he had observed how it had "gone down".

"We know the challenges of this school. Since we opened this beautiful school, this school has gone down badly. Teachers not at school, teachers fighting among themselves, teachers fighting with the principal. People vandalising a school that is meant for their own children and we must pay a price. And the price is the behaviour of our children," said Lesufi.

He stressed that had the police acted wrongly, there were other mechanisms in place that could have protected the children.

"If they don't want education and you don't want education, I will close this school. I can't have a school that is open but is closed," he said, adding that the children needed to decide whether they wanted to go to court or school.

Equally, he called on teachers to decide whether they wanted to be in classrooms or at the district offices.

Lesufi said he intended to meet the police after pupils said that they were not happy with how they had approached the situation at the school.

But he emphasised that no child should refuse to be searched for drugs or weapons at school, adding any pupil who was unhappy with this should stay away.


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