‘Urgent solution needed for NCape schools’

Northern Cape - The Inkatha Freedom Party on Thursday has called for an urgent solution to the education crisis in the Northern Cape where 41schools have been closed due to intimidation.

“The closing of these schools will have a major negative impact on the future of those learners who are depending on these schools,” said IFP spokesman Alfred Mpontshane.

He said no matter how many camps or catch-up plans the Department of Education had, children whose schooling was continually disrupted could not possibly be expected to achieve their potential.

The party was reacting to a statement from the basic education department that 41 schools in the Northern Cape would remain closed due to a high level of intimidation.

Basic education department spokesman Panyaza Lesufi said on Wednesday police needed to immediately step in and stabilise the situation before schools could be re-opened.

He said 41 of the 65 schools in the Johan Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality, in which Kuruman is situated, have been closed since June. Three of these schools have been burnt down and the 24 remaining schools have been re-opened.

“These acts of vandalism must be investigated and culprits be identified and appropriate action be taken by our law enforcement agencies.”

Lesufi said demands tabled by the protesters were not education-related as residents have been protesting over the lack of tarred roads in the municipality.

“The department of basic education and the provincial education department will continue to support the camp set up to support matriculants.”

He said the main focus was on the matriculants as there was a full recovery plan for pupils in the lower grades. - Sapa