Schools unite to fight closures

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School Closures 0531 DONE INLSA Parents and pupils from LK Zeeman and Bergrivier NGK schools protest in Paarl. Picture: Thomas Holder

Cape Town - Two Boland schools have joined forces in their fight to stay open and say they won’t give up until Education MEC Donald Grant changes his decision to close them in December.

Parents and pupils from LK Zeeman Primary in Paarl and Bergrivier NGK Primary in Wellington protested outside the Paarl offices of the Western Cape Education Department on Tuesday. A memorandum of grievances and a petition was handed over to officials.

Bronagh Casey, spokeswoman for Grant, said a copy of the memorandum would be given to Grant and provincial education head Penny Vinjevold. She said Grant was not in a position to review his decision.

Hours after the Paarl protest, several pupils, principals and community members from a number of schools also protested against the closure of 20 schools outside the Education Department offices in the city centre. In a memorandum, Concerned Education Forum and the Progressive Principals’ Association demanded that the decision to close 20 schools be withdrawn immediately.

“The reasons given by the MEC to close the 20 schools are not valid. The MEC believes that he has more wisdom than the communities he has angered,” the memorandum stated.

Casey said Grant stood by his decision, which he believed was in the best interests of the pupils concerned and was made following careful consideration and due process.

In their memorandum, Bergrivier NGK Primary and LK Zeeman Primary said the decision to close them was racist because no “white” schools were being closed.

Casey said all the issues raised by the two schools had been dealt with during the closure process.

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Cape Argus

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