Parents urged to protect schools as they did malls
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DURBAN - THE KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Parents Association has called on communities to protect schools the same way they protected shopping malls and businesses from being destroyed and looted during the unrest.
The association was reacting to Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu’s announcement that 139 schools were destroyed and vandalised during last week’s unrest.
The MEC visited damaged schools on Tuesday. Most were in uMlazi and he announced that some would not be able to open on Monday.
He said laptops and the furniture were stolen.
Vee Gani, KZN Parents Association chairperson, said it was unfortunate that parents would protect businesses and malls but allow schools to be looted and vandalised. He said his association’s call had fallen on deaf ears and urged parents to go all out to protect schools.
“Schools are not on the island. It was a duty of parents to protect them, thereby protecting the future of their children,” he said.
National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa provincial chief executive Thirona Moodley said they were concerned that so many schools would not be able to open on Monday. She said on Thursday, teachers were supposed to report to school to start preparing for the third term, but the staff at the damaged schools would not because equipment such as computers and printers were looted.
National Teachers Union secretary Cynthia Barnes on Wednesday said that as much as the union understood that the Department of Education was financially overstretched, it must ensure that these schools do not take long to resume teaching and learning.
Barnes said the department could not afford further lost time with the year closer to the end.
“We understand that all departments’ budgets were cut due to Covid-19. Schools are congested, and we were waiting for mobile classes so we can comply with Covid-19 social distancing, but these criminals decided to destroy the little we have in these schools,” said Barnes.
She urged parents to form security committees and start patrolling schools to prevent thugs from breaking in and stealing school property.
South African Democratic Teachers Union provincial secretary Nomarashiya Caluza also blamed parents for failing to protect schools. She said the solution would only be realised once parents started treating schools as their own property.