Farm school pupils burn desks - report
Bloemfontein - Pupils at a farm school outside Bloemfontein have burned tyres and school desks, apparently in a protest against additional classes ordered by the principal, it was reported on Wednesday.
According to the Volksblad newspaper, it appeared that some of the teachers opposed the additional classes and that they might be behind the pupils’ vandalism.
Teachers at the Semajane farm school, in Roodewal, stood and watched as the children, some just 10-years-old, started burning school desks around 8am on Tuesday and vandalised the school's fence.
They also pelted the city’s fire brigade with stones.
The newspaper reported that the school's principal Tate Ntlhare announced the additional classes in an attempt to help the children catch up with their school work and improve their marks.
People gathered at the scene criticised the children’s behaviour and told Volksblad Ntlhare was working hard to establish a proper school.
“Before he arrived, nearly no Grade Eight pupil passed, now all of them pass,” one of them said.
Free State education spokesman Howard Ndaba denied the vandalism at the school, despite the witnesses' accounts.
He told the newspaper the pupils thought two teachers had been suspended, but that they had actually been redeployed because there were no posts for them at the school. - Sapa