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Johannesburg - School pupils should not miss out on teaching time because of public protests, Government Communication and Information System acting CEO Phumla Williams, said on Wednesday.
“Whilst every citizen has the constitutional right to protest, it must be done within the ambit of the law and not infringe the rights of children to education,” she said in a statement.
The government had put in place several policies and pieces of legislation that aimed to realise the right to education.
“Education is a fundamental human right that promotes individual empowerment and yields important development benefits.
“The infringement of this right puts the future of our children in jeopardy, as education is a powerful tool by which they can participate fully as citizens,” Williams said.
She called on communities to ensure that protests did not deny children their right to education.
Last year, parents and other residents of Olifantshoek, in the Northern Cape, stopped about 2500 pupils from going to school for six months as part of a service delivery protest and campaign against mayor Maria Diniza.
This resulted in all Grade One to 11 pupils in the town having to repeat the school year.
Williams wished matric pupils good luck ahead of their final exams, which begin on Monday.