High police visibility but low pupil turnout as schools reopen in Phoenix
Police visibility was high but school attendance low in Phoenix, north of Durban, when the third term began on Monday.
KwaZulu-Natal education department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said the police were monitoring schools in the area, which were visited by MEC Kwazi Mshengu.
There were concerns arising from threats on social media about the targeting of schools in the area after violence during the recent unrest in KZN and Gauteng.
“There was no violence or disturbances in areas that we visited. People are out and about with their normal lives. That is what we observed,” said Mahlambi.
He said attendance at schools was poor. “The attendance was very low today because parents would always want to see what happens before they release their children to school.
“We are hopeful that attendance will improve as the week progresses because the word will go out to say that nothing happened to those who came to school.”
The National Professional Teachers' Organisation of SA (Naptosa) encouraged pupils, teachers and parents in the province to remain positive and motivated.
“Naptosa welcomes all teachers and learners to the third school term. During these uncertain times we encourage learners, teachers and parents in our province to stay positive and remain motivated to conclude this school year with flying colours,” said Naptosa's Thirona Moodley.
“We are all aware that our province was a victim of violent unrest and protest action.”
At least 136 schools were vandalised, looted and damaged.
“We implore the department of education in this province to fast-track the repairs to infrastructure and replace furniture and other resources that were destroyed,” said Moodley.
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