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Church school faces legal action

Cape Town - The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) is considering “various legal options” in a bid to resolve the situation in Zwelitsha, Khayelitsha, where children are attending an “unregistered school”.

More than 80 children whose parents claim they have been unable to find places for them at local schools have been attending classes in a one-roomed building in Zwelitsha, which is also used as an office and a church.

Teachers continue to teach children from a church in Khayelitsha. Picture: Cindy Waxa. Credit: INLSA

The school opened on Friday and accommodates children in Grades R to 7. They are taught by 12 volunteer teachers.

The WCED has indicated that it has places available for the children in schools in Khayelitsha. Some parents have told the Cape Argus that they were concerned that their children would have to travel outside their area.

Yesterday, education officials went to the school with notices, which they wanted to place at the property.

The purpose was to inform parents that the school was unregistered and that placements at recognised schools had been arranged for them.

“A member of the community refused to allow the officials to place the notices at the property. This individual was also part of the same group that locked our officials inside a school when we were attempting to register these learners,” said Bronagh Casey, spokeswoman for Education MEC Donald Grant. “Following (yesterday’s) events, the WCED is considering their legal options as we are obliged to protect the interests of these children.”

Lulamile Jaca, deputy chairman of the local ward forum, who was at the building, told the officials he would not accept the notice: ”What we want is a school with mobile classrooms.”

Casey said the WCED had gone above and beyond normal enrolment processes to help assist the pupils.

“We will continue to contact the parents and inform them that their child has a place in a registered school. Our latest information reveals that over 1 000 places are still available in Khayelitsha.”

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