Mixed bag for schools granted respite

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Barbara Maregele

TWO of the four city schools saved from closure last year are expecting to welcome more pupils at the start of their new year today.

This while Lavisrylaan Primary School in Bishop Lavis says their enrollments were “very bad” compared with previous years.

Premier Helen Zille sent a note to the Western Cape High Court, giving the nod to keep four of 18 schools open pending a review of Education MEC Donald Grant’s decision to shut them down.

The four schools are Lavisrylaan Primary, Protea Primary in Bonteheuwel and Beauvallon Secondary and Valpark Primary, both in Valhalla Park. They were among the 27 schools that faced closure last year.

Protea Primary principal Mabel Valentine said the number of pupils registered at the school had increased despite the threat of closure.

“Most of our children are coming back this year with the exception of three who moved to a different area. There are 224 children registered for grades 1-7 whereas last year we had 201 children,” she said.

Valpark Primary’s governing body chairman, Ebrahim Lawrence, said they were also expecting to see an increase in the number of pupils.

“About 150 Grade 1 learners are registered. We are expecting about 400 grade 1-7 learners this year compared to the 305 we had last year. The school usually does the late registrations on the first day of school, so we are still expecting more people to come. The new housing development opening soon behind the school will also bring in more children.”

However, Lavisrylaan principal Brenda Davids said they had less than half the number of Grade 1 pupils compared with last year.

Davids said the dwindling numbers could be attributed to parents uncertainty of whether or not the school would remain open.

Bronagh Casey, the spokeswoman for Grant, said yesterday the interim interdict was granted pending an application for a judicial review of the decision to close the schools concerned.

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