Cape education chiefs dismiss calls for 'total shutdown' of schools on Friday

Pupils at Westerford High School protest in Newlands, Cape Town, before classes on September 5 2019.
Pupils at Westerford High School protest in Newlands, Cape Town, before classes on September 5 2019.
Image: Kai Nesbitt

The Western Cape education department has denied that schools will be closed on Friday.

Communications director Bronagh Hammond said parents and pupils should ignore a social media post announcing a "total shutdown".

The social media announcement
The social media announcement
Image: Facebook

"In fact, learners are writing exams. Our grade 12 learners are also writing their matric trial examinations, which is extremely important in their preparation for the final National Senior Certificate examinations," said Hammond.

"We remind parents, communities and teachers that it is extremely dangerous to leave learners unattended, either in their homes, at their points of travel or even at their schools. All teachers are expected to report to work as per normal."

Hammond said the education department sympathised with the sentiment behind calls for a "total shutdown" as part of the uprising against gender-based violence.

"We are very aware of the effects of crime, especially on our children, and stand in support against violence and abuse. However, we must also protect our learners and ensure their safety, as well as the protection of teaching and learning time."

The department would stay in contact with law enforcement authorities, said Hammond, "should any management decisions be necessary during the course of the day". 

- TimesLIVE