Johannesburg - The Congress of SA Students (Cosas) on Friday condemned the use of education as a lever during protests.
“This is the same as community members who burn down government infrastructure to wage different struggles, which is walking three steps forward and two back,” Cosas president Thlologelo Malatji said in a statement.
“The communities involved in these protests obviously did not weigh the protest they are currently involved in, the expected outcomes of it and the education of a learner...”
In Kuruman in the Northern Cape, a group calling themselves the Road Forum began protesting in June demanding that a 130km stretch of road in the John Taolo Gaetsewe district municipality be tarred.
The protesters were barring pupils and staff from going to school, apparently to get the attention of the authorities.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Thursday said 16 000 pupils from 54 schools in different villages were affected. Of these 496 were matriculants.
Motshekga was in the area on Wednesday to talk to the community, expecting to re-open the schools.
However, the community was adamant that the situation would not change.
Cosas on Friday urged parents in the area to reconsider their strategy and said it would ask the SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) to intervene.
“Cosas remains a students' movement and our main concern in this whole issue is the learners,” Malatji said.