About 200 pupils from Kids Milestone Primary School, an independent school in Midrand, will endure a delayed start to the third term as they have been evicted from their school premises after the June holidays.
The Gauteng Department of Education said the school management was notified about their eviction and were duly evicted on Tuesday by the owners.
According to Sunday World, the school was owned by the Bushiri Ministries who had since sold the school to a new owner. They reported that the school principal had been notified of the pending eviction in June.
“They just came today and evicted us. It is so bad for the children because the school is opening tomorrow, they were not even lenient on the children,” school principal Pastor James told Sunday World.
The provincial MEC for Education, Matome Chilaone, said he was aware of the baffling situation at the school and said it was unfortunate for the learners to start their third term of school on this basis.
“Sadly, all these occurrences are unfolding during the start of Term 3 which coincides with an important day in the global calendar, Mandela Day, dedicated to a leader who had his best interests in children and education,” he said.
Chiloane said it was sad that such an incident could happen on the day when the country and world commemorated Nelson Mandela.
He said they will not interfere in private disputes between the land owners and schools but ensure that learners can attend school.
“As such, ours is to prioritise the interest of our learners and parents, which is the provision of quality education,” he said.
However, he said the government education officials visited the school on Tuesday to conduct necessary assessments for the placement of approximately 200 learners at neighbouring schools.
“Our officials from our Independent Schools unit , Johannesburg East and Tshwane South Districts will work tirelessly to identify schools and place all affected learners in an orderly manner,” Chiloane said.
He said communication with parents was underway and appealed for necessary cooperation from parents at this time of crisis.
Chiloane urged parents not to panic as the department was attending to the matter.