Cape Town – Parents of pupils and concerned residents shut down three primary schools in Parkwood Estate yesterday in protest against the old schools’ decaying structural conditions.
Protesters demanded that Parkwood, Hyde Park and Montague’s Gift primary schools be rebuilt this year or in 2020.
They displayed placards and posters citing their grievances before handing a memorandum of demands to a Metropole South Education District (MSED) official.
The memorandum stated that learners attending Parkwood Estate’s three primary schools were being placed at risk as the state of the school buildings did not comply with safety and health regulations.
It added that pupils were also being marginalised in that their constitutional right to be educated in a safe, dignified and conducive space for learning was being compromised.
According to the memorandum, the three schools’ existing buildings are older than 50 years, and still serve as a model of no redress and apartheid-style delivery of service to the community of Parkwood Estate.
The parents and residents also demanded that a feedback report be delivered at a public community meeting within seven working days of the establishment of an interim steering committee.
Parkwood Estate community leader and activist Pastor Paul Phillips said Wednesday’s protest was to force Education MEC Debbie Schäfer to do a personal site inspection of the three schools in the area.
MSED director Granville Stander received and signed the memorandum.
The MSED had said Parkwood Primary should complete an emergency repair request, which would initiate a process of on-site inspections to determine the school’s maintenance needs.
WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said the MSED would meet the school’s management to discuss their concerns.