Students from Pretoria West High School want to wear skinny pants as part of their school uniforms. Picture: Bongani Shilulbane/ANA Pictures

Johannesburg - The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) confirmed on Monday that learning and teaching at Hoёrskool Pretoria West, had resumed. 

GDE spokesperson Steve Mabona said: "Officials dispatched to the school this morning confirmed that the protest emanated from two unruly learners who transgressed the code of conduct regarding uniform. Following a disciplinary process, the learners received a sanction of a seven-day suspension."

Learning and teaching was disrupted at the school on Friday after learners demanded to be granted permission to wear skinny pants as part of their uniform.
"Their seven days lapsed on Thursday, wherein they began to coerce other learners to force the school to allow them to wear skinny pants, hence, the said disruption on Friday. However, it is encouraging, that the grade 12 learners were allowed to write their pre-trial examination,"Mabona said.
"The two learners also created a peer group on WhatsApp, which excluded the RCL (Representative Council of Learners), who have since joined to monitor the group."

The department said that the school governing body (SGB) had decided to call a parents meeting to discuss the matter further and in the interim, the school code of conduct remained in place and no learner would be denied access to education.
"The department condemns the action of the learners in the strongest terms and urges all learners to use available structures at all times, to raise issues of concern, and not resort to disrupting school."

"We appeal to leaners to refrain from illegal protests and other such activities, as their future depends on education."

Gauteng MEC of Education Panyaza Lesufi said: “It is unfortunate and disappointing that we are distracted by what we regard as petty issues, which should not be our priority. Our focus is on enhancing the quality of education, which is performance-driven, we are preoccupied by pre-trial examinations and preparations for final examinations.”

- African News Agency (ANA)